You Don’t Know How That Feels

Cars 3 is an interesting animal. I mean, all of the Cars movies are sort of interesting and a little bit weird, but also quite enjoyable.

I had a feeling that I was going to like it, because it’s basically the plot of Rocky 3, and I really, really like Rocky 3. (It’s my favorite Rocky…) Lightning McQueen wants to come back, but it seems like racing has moved on, and his mentor is dead, and his partner is supportive, but unable do much for him, and there’s outside pressure that has nothing to do with why he fell in love with the whole thing anyway.

The movie itself is sweet, touching, and not overly long, which made for a nice change. I adore new character Cruz Ramirez, as well as several quite sweet tributes to Paul Newman.

There are fun cameos as always, although I think Lighting’s new corporate boss being a Cadillac named “Mr. Sterling” being voiced by Nathan Fillion and NOT John Slattery is a waste of a perfectly good easter egg. (Not to take away from Fillion, who is as always, flawless.)

Cars 3 is worth checking out, Pixar usually is, if only to see what they were able to do visually, and this one has a fun story and some nice new characters to go along with it.

Short:

Lou, about the sentient, loving Lost and Found being is straight up adorable, with a touching bit to say about bullying, and attachment.

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  3. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  4. Cars 3
  5. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers

Despicable Me 3: This is coming up. I’ll probably go see it. Unlikely I’ll see it opening night.

Ferdinand: I knew this was happening, I did not know that John Cena was voicing Ferdinand. That’s kind of ridiculously perfect.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: Oh my goodness, can I not wait for a short of Olaf running around learning about Scandinavian Christmas traditions. Also, Else and Anna’s Christmas dresses are everything.

Coco: OK, this is going to be great, or at the very least beautiful. I don’t know a lot about Dios De Los Muertos, except that it’s also my birthday, and in Ireland we call it All Souls Day.

There Are Other Worlds Than These

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, which way to Never never land?

Emerald City’s gone to hell, since the Wizard blew off his command.

On the street you hear the voices, lost children, crocodiles.

But you’re not into making choices, Wicked Witches, poppy fields or men behind the curtain.

Tiger lilies, ruby slippers, clock is ticking that’s for certain. – “30/90”, Tick, Tick…Boom, by Jonathan Larson

Because of my foray into The Dark Tower (I’m through The Wastelands now, and it’s amazing, and I love it, and I remember the face of my father.) I’ve been thinking about other worlds in fiction.

I’m not talking about other planets, or even alternate realities. So that leaves out things like Mirror Worlds and Bizzarro Worlds, and even realms like Middle Earth, or Westeros or Tortall.

I’m talking about other worlds, that exist in some space near or in our own, and you access them through some sort of magic. I’m talking about your Narnia, your Wonderland, your Neverland, your Oz.

While I’m not sure if there strange desert world of Roland The Gunslinger is actually another world, and not a far flung future of our own, (NO SPOILERS! I’ve been spending the month restraining myself from Googling more about this series because I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW UNTIL I KNOW!) for the moment I’m treating it as someplace else.

Mainly I’ve been thinking about how you view those worlds as an adult, as opposed to as a child. The lyrics I posted above are from Tick Tick…BOOM, and are technically about anxiety about turning 30, which also, coming, and also, GAH trying so hard not to think about…although if in the next 6 years I can create something as indelliably awesome as Jonathan Larson did with Rent I think I’d be OK…I mean, not the dying at 35, without ever SEEING my creation completed part, but the writing something as resonant as Rent part. So much art about aging anxiety is about the destruction of childhood, and the wish expressed in “30/90” is to trade Oz for Neverland, as if one imploded and the other is just there waiting.

“Go on then,” Jake, the young boy who becomes the closest companion of Roland, says as he falls to his death in The Gunslinger, “there are other worlds than these.” Maybe there’s something about 30 that makes me want to seek out new worlds, or giving up on seeing them altogether, but this year has me being really introspective and kind of wishing I was someplace else. This is a general feeling, not one that I plan to act on and since the places I’m dwelling on don’t really exist, they aren’t really an option.

Emerald City’s gone to hell, since the wizard blew off his command.

 

 

They Do Not Deserve You

wonder_woman_ver5

When I was waiting for my car last night on the way home from Wonder Woman, I texted my brother, “Wonder Woman is perfect by the way.” His answer: “Well they took long enough I would hope so.”

I loved this movie. I went in ready to love this movie and it’s perfect and wonderful and I want to hug it and also I want to see it a million times. Aless summed it up, “I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching that movie.”

Patty Jenkins and the team at DC and Warner Brothers have created something really special, and it’s not like they had any pressure on them to do it right or anything. (HAHA) And through a coup of casting Gal Gadot, who I think might actually be Wonder Woman, like hiding out or something, and a singular focus on telling a strong story with defined characters, they cleared the very high bar that had been set for them.

Let’s talk about Gadot. I was in the “Who?” “She’s too skinny.” “I’m not sure about this.” camps three years ago when her casting was announced. But she’s amazing, she understands this character in a way that’s hard to articulate, her every move and word embodies Diana and it’s just so wonderful.

There’s a moment in this movie, the first time we see Diana in Wonder Woman’s costume, where she pushes herself over the top of a trench in Belgium and runs through No Man’s Land, deflecting bullets with her shield and bracelets, taking the fire as the men who follow her chase through to the other side. I was crying the whole time. Happy joyous, “HOLY SHIT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING” tears, streaming down my face. It’s a wonderful moment.

Chris Pine is great in this movie too, which does incredible things with Steve Trevor, who is brave, funny, interesting and DAMN IS THE BOY FINE. I mean, look, I’m not saying the rest of the movie could have been crappy and the scene where he takes a bath and then he and Diana have a conversation about his dick would have mad the whole endeavor worth it, (yes that happens, and yes it’s better than how I described it) and I don’t want to dwell on the fact that the image of him in a fedora walking through the streets of 1918 London, (SWOOON) is my new image of male perfection, but seriously, he’s a very attractive man and has passed Hemsworth to become the third best Chris. (He’s even inching up on Pratt…none will touch Evans though.)

I could keep going on about how much I loved this movie, but I’m just going to say one more thing, this a movie where Bruce Wayne does not appear and it still managed to get across the part of his personality that I like the best from versions other than movies. He finds the original copy of the picture of Wonder Woman with her war buddies, and sends it to her, with a note that reads, “I found the original, maybe someday you’ll tell me your story.” A little bit cranky, but deeply invested in the people he cares about.

Because this movie is perfect.

Rankings!

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  3. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  4. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers

Transformers again.

The extended Dunkirk look was fabulous. Good lord is that movie going to be good. I hope it wins Nolan his Oscar. I kind of don’t see how it couldn’t…though it would be sweet sweet irony if Logan wins.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: How do we make this thing most people love better? Add Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum!

Thor: Ragnorok: *Aless and I practically collapse into giggles on the floor of the theater in anticipation.*

Wonder Woman: A Reflection

Isn’t it amazing? 3 posts in a week, and I wasn’t even in Disney World! (Might I be getting my groove back? I hope so!)

But I thought it was important, with today being the opening night of Wonder Woman, for me to post something today, specifically, what Wonder Woman means to me. A lot of women are probably writing this piece this week. It’s the nerd woman’s version of the “leaving New York essay.”

When I started this blog six years ago, I didn’t really know Wonder Woman. I mean, I knew who she was, I knew her basics, and I hoped to someday see her in the movies. I was still mourning the version written by Joss Whedon with Lauren Graham in mind that we never got to see, but I didn’t know the character well at all.

I had to make a conscious effort to get to know her, as I fell deeper and deeper into nerd life, comics fandom, and specifically, DC Fandom. Unlike her peers, Batman and Superman (They are her peers, by the way. The Holy Trinity of superheroes!) she’s not as around. People don’t know Diana the way they know Clark and Bruce. Hell, most people probably don’t know her name is Diana.

It took a while, but then I found Wonder Woman: Odyssey. There’s something about that book, which is about Diana figuring out who she is, and when I read it, at twenty five, at a huge crossroads in my own identity, it really spoke to me. It was about embracing your past and facing your future all at once and it’s really beautiful.

Odyssey

This also might be why I’m so obsessed with giving her pants…

So after that, I fell in love with Wonder Woman. I read more comics runs. Gale Simone’s being a top favorite, though I’m a huge fan of the first chunk of her New 52 run as well. But I’m a sucker for modernizing Greek Myths. I found myself trying to explain what I loved about her to other people, and I realized, it’s something that I loved about a lot of women I admire in real life too.

Diana is going to get the job done. It might not be pretty, it might be bloody, but she’ll do it. And if she can get the job done without a fight, she will. She leads with her heart, with love and compassion, but she understands that sometimes, it isn’t enough. She’s practical that way.

I’ve mentioned before how watching the trailers for Wonder Woman have filled me, more than anything else with an overwhelming sense of calm, which I understand is a strange reaction, but there’s something deeply comforting about her, that steadies me in a way that other heroes that I love (The founding fathers of this blog, Batman and Captain America for instance) don’t. But today, I find myself feeling more than a little bit anxious.

There’s a lot riding on this movie for people like me. Wonder Woman, the movie, is a referendum on a lot of things, DC’s film initiative for one. But it also feels a little bit like our last chance. Marvel hasn’t begun filming on Captain Marvel yet. Gotham Sirens and Batgirl are equally “planned,” but nothing having yet been executed. Black Widow remains a tease beyond anyone’s comprehension.

If Wonder Woman isn’t a smash, if it isn’t perfect, that’s the end for comic book movies about women. It will be Catwoman and Electra all over again. “They don’t sell,” they’ll say, “no one likes them.”

But then I think about Diana, I think about her courage and her love and what she’s come to mean to me over the past half decade, and I feel calm.

Wonder Woman gets the job done. It’s what she does.

 

Watching Wonder Woman: A Primer

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So, maybe you live under a rock and you’re wondering, “Hey, what’s this movie coming out this weekend? You know, that one with the lady and the sword?”

Or maybe, you’re like me and you just cannot wait another day for this movie. (Aless and I are going Thursday night.) So, you’re looking for something to watch to hold you over, or introduce you to Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Also known as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

A good a primer as any if the 2009 animated movie. Co-Written by Queen of All Superhero Awesomeness Gale Simone, and starring voice talent like Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson and Alfred Molina, gets you up to date on Diana’s traditional origins, as well as having a really cool battle in the streets of Washington D.C.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 1-3: “Secret Origins”

Meet the Justice League as they join forces. Diana leaves home here and it’s a fun alternate origin for her. Plus it has a really great scene where she is baffled by a department store.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 14 & 15: “Fury”

Diana and Sheyara (Hawkgirl) team up to save Themyscira from a rogue Amazon, and while I don’t remember the episode in detail, I believe this is the one where Hawkgirl makes fun of Wonder Woman for being a virgin, which is why I included it. Also, I like watching ladies team up to fight other ladies.

Justice League: Season 2: Episodes 7 & 8: “Maid Of Honor”

While this episode is a big ol step in the Wonder Woman/Batman ship that I hate so very much, it is also a Diana spotlight episode that comes as close as any non comics anything to confirming Diana’s bisexuality. (Although Gal Gadot has stated that Diana in the films is. SQUEE!) It’s also really, really good.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 4: “Hawk And Dove”

Diana fights Ares. This is important because Ares as an enemy is pretty important to the overall mythos of Wonder Woman, and this is definitely the only time in JL or JLU that it happens…I think.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 5: “This Little Piggy”

OK, so Wonder Woman isn’t actually in this episode much, and it showcases the dreaded ship, but it’s also a really fun episode, where she gets turned into a pig. And then Batman has to save her by singing a song for Cersi. It’s great, and Kevin Conroy croons “Am I Blue?” Also, Zatanna is in this episode a lot and so it showcases both of Aless’s top cosplays. (Also, I know it’s one of her favorites and she’d be mad if I didn’t include it.)

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 18: “The Balance”

Diana learns her heritage, and also she and Hawkgirl make up after having a fight. And that’s where this picture, that is my favorite comes from.

Wonder Woman Sword

SWORD!!!!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Grand Total of 20 minutes or Whatever that have Wonder Woman in Them.

I went on HBO go last night and fast forwarded through the boring and kind of terrible rest of the movie and just watched Wonder Woman’s parts, and they are great. I would never suggest anyone watch the whole movie, but just watch the Wonder Woman parts. Gal Gadot is awesome and she and Affleck are good together. (I am less opposed to this ship here. I hate it in the DCAU, however, I WILL ALWAYS HATE IT!)

I’ll be back on Friday after seeing the movie. Guys, I’m really excited for this one. Who’s ready for the

Summer Reading

Hi everyone!

As the summer kicks off, I’m reminded of library summer reading programs. You know, you would get a sticker or whatever for every book you read?

Anyway, I’ve decided to give myself some reading goals so that I don’t wind up floundering and not reading much, as sometimes happens when I get busy.

  • The Vonnegut Project continues in earnest. This weekend I read (reread actually) Slapstick. Not my favorite (Mother Night has inched up on Cat’s Cradle though.) but nice to revisit. I’ve really enjoyed this project so far, and still heartily enjoying Kurt Vonneguys. Right now, I’m reading Jailbird, and then Palm Sunday. Jailbird, I’m enjoying, it actually remind me a lot of Mother Night, just in style and structure.

Cinder

  • The Lunar Chronicles: A series that I never managed to pick up, but I read Cinder about a month ago and really, really enjoyed it, so I’m onto Scarlet now. I’m invested in the story, at the very least, and I do love re contextualized fairy tales. And badass female heroes, and villains for that matter. Plus teenagers doing magic. Seriously, I don’t know how I haven’t read these books before, they have everything I like. I finished up Scarlet on Saturday night, and I’m looking forward to Cress. I should note, that I picked up Cinder on Kristi’s recommendation. So, thanks!
  • The Dark Tower: I finished The Gunslinger before picking up Slapstick. Mostly I wanted some basis of understanding of the world and story before the movie comes out, and I really, really enjoyed it. I’ve also never really read much Steven King before (see, horror, not my thing…) so I figure this is as good a gateway as anything into his stuff. Also, the movie looks, really, really good, just on it’s own, so, I’m in on this. I read The Drawing Of The Three yesterday and while it felt a little bit less epic than The Gunslinger I’m interested in watching this world expand out as I keep going. (My friend Greg has said that Wizard And Glass might be his favorite book ever…Greg and I tend to align on things. So looking forward to that.)

That’s the plan for now. Right now, I’m looking to alternate between Lunar Chronicles and Dark Tower books (with a Vonnegut here and there to keep up with podcast) to avoid falling to deeply into either worlds. With Game of Thrones coming back, my day job morphing again, and finally starting to look for my own place (that’s it’s own post when things are a little more solid) I can’t really afford, time wise, a full on new fandom.

We don’t need a repeat of the summer of A Song Of Ice And Fire, The Hunger Games and Mad Men and not just because of the complete loss of faith in humanity brought on by that binge. (If you’re wondering how to cure it, I recommend visits to Middle Earth and Narnia) But, yeah, I’m tired and busy and can’t fully invest theses day

I’m using Goodreads to keep myself honest and on task. Connect with me if you’re on the service! And recommend other series for me to take on. Or just books. In particular, something a little more feminine? Lunar Chronicles is doing it for now, but that’ll run out soon and while I’m really enjoying both The Vonnegut Project and The Dark Tower, they’re really, really, male. Not in a bad way, just like, I need to balance the dudely energy a little bit.

Happy Summer Reading!

The Dead Rule The Sea

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Once upon a time, a fourteen year old girl who thought she understood how the world worked rolled her eyes at the prospect of a movie based on a Disney ride.

Now, it’s 15 years later (gross) and that girl thinks that that movie is great, it’s just that the things that came after aren’t so much?

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl is a really good movie, and there’s hints of that greatness in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but only hints.

There’s a decent ghost story at it’s center, which echoes it’s origins. A pirate hunter drawn to his doom by Jack Sparrow’s shenanigans returns, determined to have his revenge. This message is carried to Jack by Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, which is a decent way to start fresh while connecting to the old story (spoiler, this movie kind of squanders that chance.) Henry is determined to find the Trident of Poseidon, a mystical maguffin that breaks sea curses or something and would free Will from his vow to serve as the captain of the flying dutchman. (The bargain Will made in Pirates: At World’s End still stands and Henry thinks it’s bullshit. So do we, Henry, so do we.) They’re joined due to plot shenanigans by Carina Smith, an astronomer who everyone thinks is witch for some reason. (She doesn’t even get weighed with a duck, so like, I don’t know how they tested it.) Oh, and Captain Barbosa, because sure, whatever.

There are some decent set pieces and Captain Salazar, the bad guy, is pretty freaky, and played by Javier “I Can Out Weird You In My Sleep Depp” Bardem. Brenton Thwaites looks eerily like Orlando Bloom, who basically looks the same as he did when he first stepped into The Council of Elrond. ( Depp sleepwalks through the movie, which is too bad, because 14 years ago, Jack Sparrow really was an interesting character. Hell, 6 years ago, in On Stranger Tides he was at least entertaining. But it’s pretty played out by now. Kaya Scodelario is lovely as Carina, though she doesn’t get much to do, and as compared to Elizabeth she’s pretty thin as a character. (Kira Knightley pops up in the last 20 seconds of the movie, and mostly I was annoyed that you know, the consumate badass Elizabeth became is flat disregarded.)

Overall, I will probably watch the movie again when it inevitably plays on cable on some sleepy Sunday, probably in marathon with the other 4 movies.

Pirates could have returned to the surprising fun of the first film, the potential is there in the bones of this movie, but it simply doesn’t deliver.

Rankings

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  2. King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
  3. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers:

Transformers: The Last Knight: 
Me: See, Optimus has a sword now, and I think he’s the bad guy this time.
Mary: That’s stupid, Optimus isn’t a bad guy.
And thus the spell this trailer seemed to have over me is broken. Thanks sis!

Cars 3: I don’t think that I ever saw Cars 2 when I think about it, but this one appears to be paying tribute to Rocky 3 so, I’ll probably see it.

Blade Runner: 2049: Mary again, “That looks cool, too bad I hate Blade Runner.” I haven’t watched Blade Runner since freshman year of college, so I need to watch it again before this comes out. I don’t remember liking it much, but you know, Gosling and all.