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Wonderwoman 1984:

This is a very, very bad movie.

There is very little action and none of it is good. The emotional punch of the movie is almost entirely reliant on child actors who are not good.

The plot is incoherent. Pedro Pascal (who is usually great) plays an absurd, entirely over the top character. Chris Pine is back for no reason whatsoever.

Bad script, poor acting, and boring as all get out. Kristen Wigg turns into Rum Tum Tugger for some reason and that's supposed to be scary.

I'd tell you not to bother, be we both know you will anyway. It's bad.

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A friend of my wife rented out the Clinton Streeet theater and showed the film version of Star Wars today. The droids were dirty and oily. Luke and the Jawas were covered with sand and dust. Han shot

Different strokes, I guess.  Saw it in the theaters, loved it.  Almost as much as this guy loves Mozart.  

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4 hours ago, Munkie said:

Wonderwoman 1984:

This is a very, very bad movie.

There is very little action and none of it is good. The emotional punch of the movie is almost entirely reliant on child actors who are not good.

The plot is incoherent. Pedro Pascal (who is usually great) plays an absurd, entirely over the top character. Chris Pine is back for no reason whatsoever.

Bad script, poor acting, and boring as all get out. Kristen Wigg turns into Rum Tum Tugger for some reason and that's supposed to be scary.

I'd tell you not to bother, be we both know you will anyway. It's bad.

HBO max was misbehaving today preventing us from watching it. Thank you for making the decision to go to bed instead of trying again!

 

Watched Netflix Sleepover instead slap stick coming of age dealing with parents movie. Really fun great humor actors and actresses are great in the roles. Played just seriously enough but crazy over the top, excellent if that's your cup of tea.

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I turned 13 in 1980 so this movie is aimed squarely at me. This is perhaps the most 80's movie ever made by people born during or after the 80's.

Think of it as the Back to the Future of super hero movies.

It is bright, hopeful, and full of glorious excess. Pedro Pascal's character is the living embodiment of the Me Generation. 

Kristen Wiig's character felt superfluous but she did a great job as the anti-Diana. Also, dang, I had no idea she could look THAT good!

The director is clearly also trying chart her own course when making these movies. It would have so easy to drench the soundtrack with 80's pop music. Instead, I cought only one appropriate Frankie Goes to Hollywood tune. Now THAT'S restraint.

Rather than dark and brooding it is bright and loud. It is the anti-Batman movie.

 

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The 80s aesthetic was about the only part the movie got right. It was an 80s nostalgia movie. Oh and also it's a Wonder Woman movie too. That felt like the approach by the filmmakers. Start with the look, then, if there's time, construct a story to fit within that look.

Thematically, it tries to draw elements of 80s movies like a wish-granting artifact ala "Big." Except it does a really bad job about setting up the rules. It grants everybody 1 wish, unless your name is Kristen Wiig, then you get 2 wishes for some reason. They had a whole scene about Pascal's son not wasting his one wish, but considering there are unspecified exceptions to the 1 wish policy, the stakes of "wasting a wish" are nonexistent. You can't waste a wish, because the script will provide more as needed. Physical contact was required for the first 2 acts, then suddenly no longer required for act 3. What does Pascal get by granting wishes aside from mild wind generation and blood leaking from his head? It's implied that he's becoming more powerful but he never uses that power. Again, the rules are just super loose and ambiguous.

It also borrows the body-swap concept from the 80s too. Chris Pine's ghost possesses another man, and there absolutely no consequences for that. One hot guy is possessed by a different hot guy. Then unpossesses him and the hot guy goes right back to his previous life which has not been impacted in any way. Again, no stakes whatsoever. Not only that, but his character serves very little narrative purpose. In the first movie, WW is the fish out of water. Incredibly powerful but unfamiliar with the world Pine is an expert in. In this one, Pine is a fish out of water AND powerless. He has nothing to add to the story as a character. No way to really help, and no clue how to try. Their dynamic made them both relatable in the first one because one was flawed and the other was human. In this one, Wonderwoman no longer has any flaws, and Pine is a pretty useless ghost.

However! My family realized the perfect fix for Chris Pine's pointless inclusion. They should have had Adam Davine as the possessed body rather than some other generic hot guy. The 80s dressing montage and childlike amazement at 80s technology would've been so much better if they could've juxtaposed Pine's smoldering good looks with a doughy, beady-eyed imp. There was nothing remotely interesting about the "she sees him as a hot guy, but the rest of the world sees him as a different hot guy" dynamic.

As for the Pascal being the living embodiment of the ME Generation, I just didn't feel that at all. Sure, he's doing his best Wolf of Wallstreet impression, but he's very clearly an allegory for Trump and it isn't subtle about that. "Reagan" was in the movie, but there was no attempt whatsoever to satirize him or even portray him as Reagan. He's just a generic "Mr President" the movie needed to again advance the story line. It wasn't really a satire of Me Generation greedy execs, so much as a thinly veiled comparison between Trump and those greedy execs (which is easy, because he got famous by being one). It pulled every punch when it came to actually criticizing the 80s, redirecting those observations to modern times with a sloppy wink and a sharp jab to the ribs. 

It's supposed to be escapist, but tries too hard to have current political commentary for it to pull off either. It's not escapist, nor is it satire. It's a confusing mix of both. Escaping to the 80s to do a satire of 2020. Why?

The soundtrack might've been over the top if they did a Guardians of the Galaxy style nostalgia romp. But I really liked the score in the first one. Those discordant electric cellos. They dialed that back too. 

Remember when we found out Diana can turn things invisible if she wants but she only used that power on a jet that she doesn't need because she can fly AND lasso both clouds and lightning bolts?! Why include the jet? Just so they could do the magic carpet ride from Aladin? So many ideas picked up and dropped with no payoff or clear purpose.

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<shrug>

The movie was fan service.  And I don't mean you, Munk.  I mean the little girls who watched Wonder Woman in '75.  The same ones who thought that the easter egg in the credits was the best easter egg "evaaaah".  Far be it from me to criticize that when I enjoy the Marvel fan service scenes for boys.

I agree with some of your critiques.  I felt like they threw away both Wiig's character and Pascal's character.  I considered the Trump reference you made but decided that if there was anything there it was thin and in the eye of the beholder, not the kind of parallel that a good writer would draw.  My problem was more fundamental...  The whole monkey's paw mechanic which was so shoddy and poorly thought out...  What it takes and how many wishes it can grant...  And as you say, the third act is based on the "you said 'touches', no backsies" idea that is akin to listening to a flat earther and then declaring that there are no mountains because then the earth would not be flat.  At the same time I get why they included Pine...  First, Pine and Gadot have chemistry and the guy they subbed him in for has all the chemistry of a noble gas (while being a recognizable actor for all the women who watch Hallmark movies, remember who I said was the target audience?).  Second, it is a visual tie to the wish, the fantasy that has to be present to implicate Wonder Woman in the evil plot.

As escapism, it was passable but not nearly as good as the first.  It lacks the action punch for an action movie.  It lacks the nostalgia hooks for a nostalgia movie.  In short, it is what DC always does...  Trying to follow in the footsteps of Marvel but failing to understand how to actually pursue or even focus on a specific goal.  Like everything DC has done in the last two centuries, it was worth watching once for completeness if that is your thing but was otherwise pretty forgettable unfortunately.

I'd give it a solid 2/5.  2.5/5 on a good day.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it slightly better than 3/5.

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My mom was a big Wonder Woman fan too. She wanted to be Linda Carter when she grew up. She love, love, LOVED the first movie and watches it all the time. She's a big Chris Pine fan too.

By the end of the first act, she said "well at least we're watching this for free."

By the end of the second "free might be too much."

By the end of the movie "this shouldn't have been made."

 

Part of my frustration with the movie is how much it let her down.

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Just finished Tenet (for probably the first time of many).  I'm not normally much of a fan of Pattinson but all the leads in this did very well (in particular Branagh).

I thoroughly enjoyed Inception although I did after multiple viewings have problems with the "layers within layers" concept at some points.  Like Inception, Tenet is thoughtful sci-fi and on the first watch I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It's possible that later I may pick up something that I see as a flaw but after the initial watch it hangs together well and does some very interesting things both cinematically (much like Inception did allowing Ariadne to play within the dream) and in terms of writing and plotting.

In the end, definitely a film worth multiple viewings.

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  • 2 months later...

JLSC 

Comic book movie 3/5 better than Catwoman, graphics of XMO wolverine/LotR, plot amounts to Superman (1978) meets Avengers: infinity saga

Blockbuster Movie 1/5 : The graphics for DC just continues to blow. They clearly don't listen to criticism in this regard, and likely compare it to their Arrowverse shows to justify "how good it looks," with arrowverse stuff generally looking better. The one caveat to this is the Speed Force in JL.  Done very well, without copying what we've seen done with quicksilver.

Pacing does well for roughly four 1 hour sessions. 

We'll see if they follow up with the open ended stuff. If their MO is anything to go by, nope.

 

Still refuse to watch Rise of Skywalker. D+ is getting upset with me.

 

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2 hours worth of ZSJL? Does that count? It was long enough for me to see that it was not worth going another two hours. Ugh. Sorry to the ZS fanbois out there...but christ..that was bad. If you are really going to spend that money to redo it...then make it better. Don't tack on two hours and meander along with stupid stuff. Just ugh.

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1 hour ago, Brother Glacius said:

2 hours worth of ZSJL? Does that count? It was long enough for me to see that it was not worth going another two hours. Ugh. Sorry to the ZS fanbois out there...but christ..that was bad. If you are really going to spend that money to redo it...then make it better. Don't tack on two hours and meander along with stupid stuff. Just ugh.

I almost shut it off at two hours. It just wasn't engaging enough, but after stretching and getting a snack, was able to watch another hour before shutting it off for the night and finishing it the next morning. I used friends HBO, so I don't feel cheated outta money.

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I liked the Snyder cut more than the 6 hour movie that was the last 2 Avenger movies. It took me 2 sittings: 3hr/1hr.

Everything in the MCU is just incredibly low stakes no matter what's happening. Half of all life wiped out? No worries, they'll all be brought back. There was never any doubt that things would end up hunky dory. Every fight is scaled to be relative to the cinematic moment that is required. Sometimes we're supposed to believe Cpt America has his work cut out for him while fighting a French mercenary protecting a freighter, but he equally has his work cut out for him when he's fighting intergalactic world-conquering super beings. No matter what the source of the power of an attack it always manifests as kinetic energy. If you're Thor or the Hulk, it'll knock you through a car and steel reinforced concrete. If you're Black Widow or Hawkeye, it'll knock you into a wall and some plaster will fall down. Everything scales in the moment to provide an inconvenience, but the outcome is never in question.

I enjoyed the split between the god-mode characters and the mortal characters in JL. Batman and The Flash never battle Steppenwolf because they know they're no match. They focus on the grunts and let the people who can handle him do the battling.

I agree that the CGI is not as good, but I like the surreal aesthetic more. MCU is so polished and glossy that it just lends itself to that "gee, shucks, everything will turn out swell" atmosphere they built. There seems like so much more wasted time in those movies because none of the fights matter. Nobody will actually get hurt, they'll just knock eachother into and/or through things until it is time to end it. Then the predetermined winner wins and skips away merrily.

Maybe it's simply a function of being burnt out on the MCU, but the ZSJL offered something that felt unique and interesting for the first time in a long time. I didn't know what was going to happen next, and I enjoyed that.

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7 hours ago, Munkie said:

I enjoyed the split between the god-mode characters and the mortal characters in JL. Batman and The Flash never battle Steppenwolf because they know they're no match. They focus on the grunts and let the people who can handle him do the battling.

And see, this is the same problem I have with JL in a nutshell.  Batman *can* fight and kill Superman.  Why the heck can he *not* fight Steppenwolf?

Aside from GRR Martin, *nobody* writes stuff where the outcome is indeterminate (and George's writing is so bad that the only logic to when characters die is "I was bored of him" so that's not an improvement).  I mean, let's get serious...  DCU is the one we were talking about 6 months ago with Wonder Woman '84.  Did you have any questions about the outcome there?  Was there something I missed where Maxwell Lord wished to be invincible and able to take punches from an Amazon?

Don't get me wrong...  I'm not denying what you are saying about the MCU...  I'm just saying DC is not doing it better.  I will *totally* buy the argument that this felt ZSJL offered you something different and unexpected.  It didn't do that for me but that has more to do with my expectations than the movie itself.

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I still want to know why no one inside the Time-Warner monolith didn’t raise the obvious point that Steppenwolf is a below D-List villain who’s last major appearance in the comics was in in early Nineties... and who they had killed off in 2008. Murdered by the Clock King. The. Clock. King.

Yeah, yeah, he’s a Jack Kirby creation and that’s normally a pedigree that guarantees greatness... But Kirby made up background filler characters and Jobber villains too. Steppenwolf is a Jobber, he’s not a Big Bad Evil Guy.

Seriously, the dude was killed off by the Clock King. A moderately athletic middle aged man with an uncanny skill for accurate time keeping and some fencing lessons.

Out of the hundreds of thousands of villains in the DC Universe, why the hell would you pick Steppenwolf!? Okay, sure, they wanted the New Gods tie-in and wanted to save Darksied for a sequel... Why not use Kaliback? Devilance? DeSaad? Granny Goodness and the Female Furies? Glorious Godfrey?

To put it in WH40k terms, this movie basically had the nine Loyalist Primarchs all unite to form a team to take on not one of the four Ruinous Powers, not one of the Chaos Primarchs, not even someone like Abbadon or Khârn... No, they were fighting against a lousy Unnamed Generic Chaos Space Marine Sergeant. 

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2 hours ago, Brother Glacius said:

I'm sorry, you complain about the MCU bringing back everyone when characters actually did die at the end of it? And the DCU just brought back the only person it had killed, ie Superman with a moronic "lets use these mother boxes" plot line?? Give me a break. 

Vision is the only hero MCU has brought back from the dead, currently.  "Mygamora" stayed dead, Stark is dead. Snap back, for better or worse, isn't considered brought back from the realm of the dead. 

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The Ancient One; Black Widow; Dum Dum Dugan and the other Howling Commandos; Elektra; Peggy Carter; Phil Coulson*; Fandral; Gamora; Groot; Heimdall; Hogun; Iron Man; Mar-Vell; Odin; Quicksilver; Volstagg; and Yondu...

All either shown dying on screen or explicitly mentioned as having died off-screen.

One might quibble that some of these are “mentors” or “parental figures,” which usually comes with a limited shelf-life in any superhero story, but I’d say they all count as full-blown superheroes. 

* He dies in The Avengers but comes back in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and then dies again.

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