watching, reading, and writing stories

Wonder Woman

If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, be warned, there are spoilers in my review. So I’ve put off writing a review for Wonder Woman even though I saw it in theaters opening night. I think it’s because I really wanted to like this movie and most of the reviews and responses to the movie were very positive. But I just didn’t come out of the theater thinking ‘I loved that movie’ and I wasn’t really sure why. But now that I’ve had some time to think it over, I’ve come up with some reasons why I didn’t love this movie.

Now don’t get me wrong, this movie is a very high quality film and I’m glad it’s getting good reviews and people are enjoying it. I don’t want to start any arguments or make anyone upset. But since I have reviewed movies in the past, I wanted to at least give my opinion.

First off, one thing that makes me love a movie is the comedy. Not all movies need to have comedy, but even dramas I think are improved with moments of comic relief. Wonder Woman too, includes some comedic moments, but most of them are based in sexual humor which is awkward to me and not very funny. I don’t like that kind of comedy and so I found this movie very lacking in any funny moments that usually make me enjoy a superhero movie.

In addition, what makes me really enjoy a movie is a connection to the main character and a desire for them to succeed or accomplish their goal. I’m still not sure why, but I just didn’t connect to Wonder Woman as a character. I didn’t care what happened to her and even when her love interest died, I didn’t cry. Maybe it has something to do with her being a god and not having many things is common with me, or many of the other characters.

And speaking of the whole god thing, that was another reason I didn’t like the movie. As a Christian, any film that has it’s story line based in mythology always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I believe there is one true God and seeing anything with reference to other gods is just always harder for me to get into. But that’s just who Wonder Woman is, so I don’t blame the movie at all, they are sticking to the original comic for her back story, as they should. It’s just another reason that I personally had a hard time enjoying this movie. I prefer superheroes who get their powers by accident or technology instead of because they are a ‘god.’

And lastly, I had a hard time following the story in Wonder Woman. She seems to believe for most of the movie that she just has to defeat this one bad guy, Ares, and then everyone will stop fighting and there will be peace. It’s a naive understanding and I enjoyed seeing her discover that killing one bad guy won’t solve everything when she kills the German with her sword and the fighting doesn’t stop. But then the audience is shown that in fact it was just the wrong bad guy and even her sword isn’t the weapon we thought it was. So instead Wonder Woman is the weapon and some other guy is Ares and she battles him, wins and then the fighting stops.

So it felt like they were setting up an alternate ending where Wonder Woman doesn’t just defeat a bad guy and win, but then that ending sort of happened anyway. So I felt led on as an audience member. I don’t mind it usually when movies have surprises that you weren’t expecting, but it just felt like it was trying to do something new and then said never mind we’ll just do the regular ending that everybody expected at first.

In conclusion, as I’ve already said, I didn’t enjoy the movie. And that’s sad because I was really excited about it and was hoping I’d really enjoy it. I loved the scenery and setting in World War 1 and I liked Chris Pine’s acting and several of the action sequences were very well done. But in the end, it just wasn’t for me.

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The Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2: "We March Together" Trailer Released

As you know if you’ve been following my blog for long, I’ve blogged about the Hunger Games before.  I’ve seen all of the other movies and read the books. So this past weekend I went to see the latest Hunger Games movie.  And just in case you haven’t seen it, be aware that this blog post will have some spoilers in it. I found it interesting that before I got a chance to see the movie, several people in my life were complaining about this newest film. Some said they were disappointed, or didn’t like the ending. But I wanted to reserve judgement till I had actually seen the movie for myself.

So yesterday I settled into my movie chair with a good friend and we watching the 2 hour and 17 minute movie. And I couldn’t see why people were complaining. There were intense battle sequences, fairly good acting, and great music. I even laughed at a few of the lines. I thought the movie did an excellent job of bringing the book to life. If followed the story line almost perfectly as did the previous films. It seemed on par with all of the other Hunger Games movies. What was there to complain about?

And then it hit me, the people I’d heard complaining about the movie had not read the books, or at least not to my knowledge. Suddenly it all made sense. When I first read the books, I loved the first one, was still interested by the second, and was kind of frustrated with the third. I didn’t like that so many of the characters died and yeah I just didn’t like the story. But that’s how it was written. So when I went to see the movie I expected Finnick and Prim to die, I knew Coin was also a villain and I enjoyed seeing everything play out. Plus I got to see my extra favorite ending scene with Peeta and Katniss hanging out with their kids. By the way Peeta makes an awesome dad.

So yeah, I got what I expected. But if someone was watching the films and didn’t know how it was going to end, I can totally see why they were disappointed. I was too, just with the book. I can’t blame the movie, because it wasn’t the movie’s fault, it all came from the book. So in any case, if you’ve enjoyed the Hunger Games movies, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. But if you don’t know the ending, be prepared for some sadness coming your way because it’s not all happily ever after.


Inside Out

If you read my last post, you know that I was very excited to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out. And I can say with confidence I was not disappointed, and if I ever make an updated list of my five favorite Pixar films, this one will be on it. Sometimes I set the bar too high for movies and end of leaving disappointed, but Pixar has done it again. They surpassed my expectations and left me wanting to see this movie again.

So before I get into the details of the movie, if you haven’t seen it, I’d say go ahead and watch it first. I’d hate to spoil anything for you. And if you still need some info before you see it, here’s a preview.

Alright, onto the review. This movie combines outstanding characters with an epic story. As only Pixar can do, the cast of this movie leaves the audience laughing at every turn. There were multiple times when I watched this movie that the audience or myself was laughing so hard, that I missed what a character said right after the funny moment. (This is one of the reasons I want to see it again).

One scene in particular that I found hilarious, was the dream sequence which began with the average dreams that pretty much everyone has experienced (reliving a bad memory, losing your teeth, and not wearing any pants) but the film pokes fun at these stereotypes by having Fear (played by Bill Hader) comment on the predictability of these scenes. Then as other characters, namely Joy (played by Amy Poehler) and Sadness (played by Phyliss Smith) try to change the dream, Fear is left wondering what in the world is going on, saying such things as “What the?” and “Stick with a plotline people.”

And this I think is one of the things Pixar does best, starting with Toy Story they have had groups of characters that feel so real, but say and do things that are just hilarious. I still remember Mr Potato Head saying “Look I’m Picasso,” and “What are you looking at, you Hockey Puck?” Inside Out has the same quality of one liners that leave you laughing. But just as Toy Story, and almost every Pixar film has funny characters, it also has an emotion filled story line.

I can honestly say, this movie made me cry… multiple times. It just knows how to tug on your heart strings, and take you from laughing to crying so fluently. Ironic right, since it’s a movie about emotions. But this is something that Pixar has perfected, even managing to make a 5 minute love story between two people that is heart wrenching in their movie UP.

One last thing I want to mention that I really enjoyed from this movie is how loss is handled. In the movie, Joy is always looking on the bright side and being optimistic and trying to make everyone around her, even Sadness, happy. But at one point she in confronted with a character who is heartbroken. Something they loved, that was really important to them was lost, and they’ll never get it back. (It reminded me of a person losing a friend or a loved one). Joy responds as she always had before, trying to put a positive spin on things, and distracting the character from the loss. And that can be such a typical response that we can give to someone else’s tragedy. But in contrast, Sadness listens to the character’s story and lets him mourn. She enters into his pain and lets him feel that it is alright to be upset. And that ends up being so much better for him, and for anyone dealing with grief.

I’ve been learning a lot about that in my own life now, with so many people around me and in my city experiencing tragedy. I want to remember to not try to fix everything or make someone feel happy, but let them be sad, validate their sense of loss and even cry with them.

So, I hope you enjoyed this movie too, and if you haven’t watched it and went ahead and read this, I hope I didn’t give away too much and you’ll still enjoy seeing it for yourself.


Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Hits Early

So I got to see the new Avengers movie yesterday and it definitely was a summer blockbuster. It had plenty of action, all the returning Avengers, plus several new faces. It was 2 hours and 20 minutes long and I never got bored during the whole thing. The director also did a good job of balancing fast action with slow character development. The movie definitely was a thrill ride. And if you haven’t seen it yet, go ahead and stop reading now, and see if for yourself. Otherwise, beware of spoilers.

One of my favorite parts of any of the Marvel Universe movies is the banter and jokes between characters and this film did not disappoint. Whether it was in the middle of a thrilling action sequence, or while our heroes are taking it easy at Avenger’s tower or their safe house, there is always a cleaver line thrown in. Even our villain has several humorous comments to add, probably because he was developed by Tony Stark and inherited some of his wit. I also loved the bit about Thor’s Hammer and how no one could pick it up, though Captain America did manage to move it. And then in the climax, our new hero Vision is able to pick it up easily, proving that he can be trusted.

The one downside to this movie is that there is literally so much going on that it can be hard to follow the plot or connect with new characters. It could have just been the mood I was in, but I didn’t get as caught up in this story as I have with other Marvel movies. I didn’t cry when Quicksilver died or when the the Avengers saw their worst fears or memories. Maybe I will the second time through, but the first time I was constantly trying to keep up with who was who, and what was going on so that I didn’t get emotionally invested.

But in any case, it was a fun movie to see and I enjoyed it and will probably see it again soon.

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