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revisiting wonder - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
revisiting wonder
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05222017-06


-- चार हजार और सत्तानवे --


This L.A. Times commentary prompted me to see Wonder Woman a second time, for two reasons:

First, I could only vaguely remember the "No Man's Land" sequence. This is because that was about the time during the movie when I went to see it with Laney last Thursday that I started nodding off. In my half-sleep, I very unfairly found myself dismissing it: more excessive fighting like in any superhero movie. Except this piece clearly illustrated that's not what it was at all. This was a pivotal moment in the story, something that really meant something, particularly to women (and feminists).

Second, it made me realize that I did not quite give it a fair shake in my review. Now, to be clear, I have re-read that review far more times than I do most of them, because of the feedback I have gotten -- pretty much uniformly positive -- and I still stand by it. I stand by what I wrote, and I stand by the solid B grade. It's just that now it's for slightly different reasons. Had I been completely alert for the entire run time of the film the first time around, I might very well have made more specific mention of how meaningful that No Man's Land sequence actually was. But when I first watched, it didn't register.

I asked Shobhit if he was interested in Wonder Woman and he said yes; we went ahead and used the AT&T two-for-one deal offered at Regal Cinemas on Tuesdays and went to see the 5:50 showing yesterday.

5:50, it turns out, is the perfect time of day for me to go see a movie. When Laney and I went, it was at 8 p.m., really only because I refused to pay the premium for so-called "4D" (the one playing at 7:00) and the 5:00 showing was too early for Laney. I also brought rum to slip into my Zevia Cherry Cola that I brought to that screening, which was clearly a mistake. Combining alcohol intake with a later-than-usual screening? I'm pretty much guaranteed to zonk out. Here is one context in which I really need to come to grips with the fact that I'm getting older.

Yesterday, though, I went to a screening more than two hours earlier, and was not drinking. I was never even remotely drowsy. Success! As it happens, I did see actually more of the No Man's Land sequence than I realized, but still had nodded off more than enough to miss how critical it was -- and I apparently slept soundly through most of the couple sequences that followed. These were less critical, but I did evidently sleep through most of the part where they're at the gala Diana Prince crashes. I had complained in my review of how little screen time "Dr. Poison" got, a criticism I again still stand by, but there was an important scene with her here that I totally missed last week.

I would say that the second time around made me more impressed with the movie than I had been initially, particularly the editing and how the story comes together pretty seamlessly -- at least until the predictably overblown climactic battle sequence, anyway. The one grade I would change now is the B- I initially gave it for editing, to a B or maybe even B+. That said, that ending is still a real disappointment, something that is completely inessential to the whole story. That's the one part of this that amounts to "same shit, different superhero movie." And Ares's armor made out of surrounding debris, making him look vaguely like The Knights Who Say "Ni!" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? That shit all but derails the whole movie.

It says a lot in today's superhero movie landscape, though, when that's the only major flaw. The others are all so repetitive and predictable that I've long since stopped going to them, with a few notable exceptions (this year's great Logan -- actually a better movie than Wonder Woman -- among them, and by the way that features basically a mini-Wolverine who is a girl). Wonder Woman's story, up until that climax that's interchangeable with essentially all superhero movies, is very different. And what it means to girls, and even grown women, cannot be understated.

Shobhit, for his part, took another tack, when I asked what he thought of the movie after it ended: he thought it would make more logical sense for Wonder Woman to side with Ares -- as he implores her to, like any typical supervillain does -- and his worldview that humanity should be left to destroy itself and is not worth saving. Yeah, right: that would play well with audiences! He can be so stunningly clueless sometimes. For some reason, he wants to willfully discard that Wonder Woman's success lies in her pointed representation of hope and love, of a sort that actually could only have been embodied by a woman. As the L.A. Times commentary notes:

Witnessing a woman hold the field, and the camera, for that long blew open an arguably monotonous genre. We didn’t need a computer-generated tree or a sassy raccoon to change the superhero game; what we needed was a woman.

-- चार हजार और सत्तानवे --


05222017-07


-- चार हजार और सत्तानवे --


After the movie, Shobhit and I walked down to Cost Plus World Market, which is a couple of blocks north of Pike Place, because they were having a sale -- two for one on Moscow Mule copper mugs! Now I have three of them, which is perfect if both Shobhit and Ivan ever want a Moscow Mule. More often than not that's the drink Ivan asks for when I ask if he'd like one. They also had ginger beer on sale and I got a 4-pack of a brand I've never tried before. They could be good and they could be terrible; it's always hard to say with ginger beer.

We got a packet of Biscoff cookies that we really did not need but they were on sale too. That's always the great trick of putting things on sale, isn't it? They get you to spend money you would not spend at all otherwise, and yet you think you're saving money. I wasn't even thinking about buying any new Moscow Mule copper mugs but two for one is too great a deal to pass up. So, there went another twenty bucks.

I had biked home from work and then we walked downtown for the movie, so we decided to take the bus back. We worked together on the New York Times crossword puzzle on the bus, getting quite a few of the answers along the way. Once we were home, we finished the episode of The Golden Girls I had started while we ate dinner, but by then it was time for me to start getting ready for bed so I didn't bother any more with the crossword.

-- चार हजार और सत्तानवे --


I just ate my lunch out on the patio here at work again. Mimi came and sat with me for about half the time, after whoever she had been sitting at one of the tables with came inside. This is likely to be my last chance to do that for the rest of the week -- we've got rain expected from tomorrow through Sunday at least, although at least the National Weather Service is only saying "chance showers" for Saturday and Sunday, which is somewhat of a relief given all the Pride events happening.

I guess I'll get back to work now though.

-- चार हजार और सत्तानवे --


05292017-01

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positive energy please