Wonder Woman(2017)

As my wife puts this movie, ” It was everything I wanted.”  With that being said, Wonder Woman is a damn good movie.  It was surly the best thing DC and Warner Bros has done together in the last ten or so years.  The only thing that bothered me a little was the cliche slow motion fight scenes,  I felt that it was a tad bit over done.  The movie did also feel a bit familiar, like Captain America: The Fist Avenger(2011).  Which isn’t a bad thing, since that movie was great in its own right.

Gal Gadot is great, not to mention that she’s very attractive as well.  Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor and these two fine actors have chemistry.  I feel that is something that helps get the view invested emotionally with what happens with their individual character arcs. Lucy Davis plays Etta, Steve’s secretary, and she is a joy in every scene she’s in.  She almost stole the show.

The setting is WWI, and I think that was a great way to go, since WWII always seems just a bit played out.  The scenes are great, the costumes are stunning, and the Lasso of Truth glows.  Part of the fun is seeing all the Easter Eggs that are in there.  They tie the DCEU all together in a nice pretty package.  I’m trying not to spoil anything here, because this movie is truly a pleasure to experience, just say that DC seems to have Marvel’s problem with under developed villains.

Now that I’ve given a spoiler free review….I hope, I have something that I feel needs to be addressed about the importance of this movie.  For all things about equality, this is a female superhero movie, directed by a female director.  See studios? Women can do it too.  Had this been a disaster, everyone would be bad mouthing DC even more, and probably blame Zack Snyder for ruining the DC brand.  Wonder Woman did exceedingly well, and I think that all the companies either doing, or considering doing movies benefits from this.  I’ve seen and heard people complain about the lack of female heroes in the movies.  Well, Jessica Jones(2016) did very well on Netflix, and Wonder Woman being a success means that the movie watchers are ready for the female superhero movies.  I think that studios should pay attention to this.  We could have a successful Black Widow movie, or a Spider-Gwen.  We could even do with a Black Canary movie.  I think the possibilities are exciting.

The only disappointment I have about what I heard was that males complained about an all-women showing of Wonder Woman.  I mean really?  It seems that most things tend to be geared towards the male population as it is, and somebody doesn’t have enough chill to be cool with something not geared towards the male ego?  I think it was a great publicity stunt, and there is a female section that has grown up with Wonder Woman as the only role model that they’ve had.

Parting words:  If you’ve seen it, I hoped you like it. If you haven’t I recommend seeing it, because it is good.  Have a good night, and until next time.

Friends

So, Sarah and I took our friend Alisa with us to a SCA event down in Dun Or, or Lancaster, Ca for people who aren’t into the medieval reenactment group. It was their 25th anniversary and Sarah’s second time being the youth activity officer. Alisa went to be her helper, and I went to support our local barony.

One of the things that I like about being a member of the Society is that I’ve made friends with some amazing people. This is also the most open minded group of people that I’ve ever been around. I’ve met several people who are like minded and enjoy the geeky things that I like.  So, I was talking with my usual group of people at events, and I we had a great time.  One of my friends, also introduced me to a long time friend, who helps run a geek internet radio station.  She was happy to introduce us, because she wants to see my creative endeavors sprout up and become something bigger then it is.

As the event came to an end, my friend, her family, and my group of people went out and had dinner together. The best part was, that I realized that I enjoyed being around these people far more than I ever realized. They are good people, and also intelligent as well. So, dinner took way longer than it should have, and without having our kids with us, it was nice to spend time with adults that we share a passion for geeky and possibly crude humor.  It was a wonderful night, and I look forward to actually hanging out more often now that we realize how much we enjoy each other’s company.

Documentary

The first week in my Documentary Post production, and what I’m learning that editing a documentary is different than editing a a movie.  When filming a movie, short, or fictional story, you build the film around the script, where a documentary is the opposite where you build the story around the footage that has been filmed.

I’m looking forward to filming a few different, styles… i.e.. commercials, music videos; this way I can diversify my portfolio.  It’s also a great opportunity to stretch myself out as a storyteller. I have a top notch creative team that I’m working with and I find that it helps me be a better person creatively.

An idea of a “shared universe” for all our projects came up, and I think that’s a great idea, and kind of a thought I had already had as an idea. That way we could add another interesting part to the whole creative process. So, what element from what story is going to be referenced in which part of the current project.  Just so you know now, Life Happens is the central point to everything to come. The tragic start to Roger and Chelsea’s story is something that I’m looking forward to telling, as it is the second script that I’e written. Second Chances was the first one I wrote back in 2012.  I’m looking forward to revisiting that work at some point in the future and re-write it, especially since I’ve learned more about structuring a script. It was the story that broke my writer’s block.

This Short Experience

Wow! I sit here and reflect on the fact that I got this short completed. Everything from the writing of the script to the crazy filming, and finally too the experience of editing.  I enjoyed doing the sound editing, but I also found it to be one of the most time consuming portions of this process.  It’s funny that I think buying the rights to use two songs in this short was the most exciting part of my experience.

What I’ve learned through this whole process are lessons that I’ll continue to carry with me for the rest of my life.  They’ll also help in making me a better story teller.  The way this has gone, the most important lesson is that pre-production is the most important first step. I’ve learned that I need to work on organizing things better.  The biggest part of filming-roomtone is key.  If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, it’s an unsung hero for the world of bringing film to life. Oh, and I can’t wait until we can start scoring and doing our own music.  I think that will be a great experience.

I know that with the hardship that’s come with this picture, it will make everything that comes after seem like a piece of cake.  It also makes me hungry to do more, and I wish that I could dedicate far more time to working on my craft. Plus having my new creative partner is going to be a wonderful experience to help get the ideas flowing.

As I’m writing this, I’m also sending links to the short so that people can tell me what they think. Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it: https://youtu.be/NrxkWYUDnD4. Enjoy, and leave a note. I take all comments into consideration. I know growth comes from criticism if people are willing to accept it. That was something my drama teacher always loved about me, was that I looked at it as a tool for improvement, and right now, I’m still a toddler in this filmmaking thing.

Skull Island(2017)

I’m going to admit that I’m more excited about what is coming next at Universal, but Skull Island  was a fun movie to watch. So let’s start off with time period, it starts during World War Two for a bit of Kong introduction, but the story focuses on the Vietnam war era, in which Samuel L. Jackson is the leader of a helicopter unit. This movie isn’t like most King Kong movies by the way as SPOILER ALERT: the movie never leaves the island once they get there.

Now back to the narrative at hand. John Goodman is a scientist who believes that there are monsters on Earth. Corey Hawkins plays his assistant, who helps test his own theories of what’s underground. They recruit Jackson’s team to help get them on the island, and they look for a guid in Tom Hiddleston, and Brie Larson is a photo journalist, who is anti-war.( Geek note: Loki and Captain Marvel in a movie with Nick Fury, did Marvel set this up?)

So with the crew in tow, the scientist travel to Skull Island to bomb the terrain, for “science discovery.” All they do is piss off the big monkey, which is the point of the plot. an abbreviated version goes like this- Money knocks down helicopters, some pilots die, big creatures besides Kong kills some of the scientists and soldiers. Jackson plays typical Jackson and tries to take on Kong for the death of one of his men, Toby Kebbell, who’s the most popular soldier the team has. Jackson stirs up big monsters while trying to draw out Kong, basic summary of the plot.

Now, I will SPOILER ALERT: the biggest part of the movie, there are easter eggs everywhere for Godzilla(2014), they hint at the next movie where the big lizard and the big monkey will go toe to toe. I’m fanboying out over this. A good 4 out of 5 from me.

Logan(0r Finally The Right Movie)

This review of Logan(2017) is going to be full of NSFW words and spoilers. As usual, I’ll try to contain the surprises with the warnings of SPOILER ALERT.

So to start out, the year for the movie is 2029. Logan is much older, and is a limo driver. With that being said, the within the first five minutes, Logan is found sleeping in the limo, and his car’s getting jacked by thugs. With that set-up, the first five minutes also reminds you that we got the Wolverine movie we wanted. Blood, dismemberment, and gratuitous use of the word fuck. This character always needed the R-rating to justify the aggressive nature from the comic books. We also get many uses of the word fuck from Charles Xavier as well.

Spoiler alert, mutants are all but dead, Xavier is in hiding across the Mexican border, he is old, and very sick. He suffers from seizures that cause problems to everyone around him. Logan does everything in his nature to take care of Charles, with the help of a pastey tracker named Caliban. Charles has been in contact with a young mutant named Laura, who we find out is also a genetic copy of Logan. That’s what happens when scientists take DNA from people, they create dangerous weapons.

With an arranged meeting, Logan becomes an unwilling father figure to save Laura from this said science organization. I found it entertaining to see Logan attempt to be a father figure to the young child, while also being caretaker to the aging Xavier. The conflicts between Logan, and the group of Reavers who want to take Laura back into position turns into several clashes that proves that Laura, aka X-23 is a badass little girl. I give Jackman props for playing the older version of Logan with a bit of a battle worn demeanor. He’s a few beats slower, and his healing factor as worn down to the point were his body now carries the scares of his fights. With that Logan is also sick with a virus that he can’t seem to shake. Logan’s done fighting and just wants his life to end, and that is where we see Logan at this stage in his life.

Logan is convinced by Charles to take a trip to North Dakota to deliver Laura to a sanctuary called Eden, where they run into conflicts along the way. They end up helping some farmers saver their horses, and stay the night as a reward for their good deeds. This is where two big SPOILER ALERTS happen, one-the clone of Wolverine, called X-24 and his introduction is by killing Charles Xavier. The fight between the young and old Wolverines is really kick ass. As they travel, Laura ends up saving Logan by jacking a car and taking him to a clinic to attempt to heal.

After that, they finally make their way to Eden where they’ve been tracked by the Reavers, and the escape to Canada ensues. With a final show down, the X-24 ends up SPOILER ALERT fatally injuring Logan, and before the final blow, Laura blows off X-24’s head with an adamantium bullet. Laura and the refugee kids from the Science facilities bury Logan, and escape. That’s the way to end a series-clean and emotional.

While I didn’t touch base on the villains of the film, I do have to say that keeping this movie more low-key was part of the success of this movie. I found the movie to be one of the better comic movies around, and better than anything Fox has ever produced. I hope that producers keep in mind that story ultimately wins over the glamour and sparkle of some of the bigger budget movies they produce. I’d give this a 5 out of 5.