Fireflies & Laserbeams

Did WW84 kill the franchise?

Saturday December 26, 2020 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | TV and Movie Review | Leave Comments

Spoiler Alert: I am going to talk about some stuff in the movie below. If you don't want to see then stop here.

I watched Wonder Woman 1984 last night. I was expecting something on par with the first Wonder Woman movie, which was done well, and relatively serious in it's tenor. And although the new movie tries to strike the same chord, it misses wildly. The picture above kind of sums up how I felt watching the movie.

Pedro Pascal's character felt like a caricature, and he led the Monkey's Paw plot arc that was unimaginative and completely out of sync with the previous incarnation. Yes, we could buy into Gods and demi-gods and the powers that they have, but they played it straight in the first movie. In this one they go straight into comic book plot lines. And I could even buy that if that were the only issue, but it was like they decided that science of any sort didn't matter. They were playing hard to fan service in bringing back the Steve Trevor, and I like Chris Pine, but this indulgence may have been their downfall.

There is one particular sequence that jumped the shark for me. They steal a jet from the Smithsonian back lot. Okay. I can buy that. I can even buy the part where she fizzles up some magic ball of energy and she makes the jet invisible. We all know Wonder Woman has an invisible jet, so I gave them a pass on this, too. But give me a break. Trevor is from WWI. How the hell could a pilot that predates the jet age by 23 years before the prototype and more like 35 years before they were in common use, jump into a modern jet and fly it like there was nothing to it. I am a pilot, and I'd like to think that in a pinch I might be able to fly a jet I haven't been in before, it would take some time to figure out how things worked, even though there might be some similarities. Would he even know what the throttles were? I am sure there was some mechanism for that, but how in the world did he start the engines just by chance, flipping switches in the right sequence and bringing the throttles out of cutoff to start. And then he flies directly into a huge fireworks display. Those are like M80 explosions. It would be like flying straight into a barrage of flak. No pilot in their right mind would do that, even though it made for a cool shot in the movie, showing the fireworks through the invisible skin of the jet. And there is absolutely no way that jet makes a direct flight to Cairo, Egypt from DC without getting refueled somewhere. Not only does it fly all the way there, but back again. I guess making it invisible gave it an unlimited fuel tank as well. It is straight up ridiculous. Don't get me started on the magic lasso that can do anything, including seeing into the past, act like a prehensile tail, and wash your dishes (okay not that last one.)

The movie had some entertainment value if you can suspend your disbelief in science and technology. Gal Godot was wonderful, and the changing clothes scene was priceless. Kristen Wiig's character was fun to watch, until they turn her into some weird panther creature.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed in the movie. It could very well kill the franchise. They completely squandered all the caché or credibility they gained from the first movie. I can't recommend it to anyone.

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A Perfect Film to Watch During This Pandemic

Saturday April 18, 2020 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | TV and Movie Review | Leave Comments

[caption id="attachment_1875" align="alignleft" width="220"]The_Guernsey_Literary_and_Potato_Peel_Pie_Society Theatrical Release Poster[/caption] My wife had heard about the film, actually has the book, and had read part of it. It got great reviews and is playing currently on Netflix. It’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I know the title sounds pretentious, but I had a visceral reaction to the story, as a writer, and as a person going through the pandemic with the rest of the world. The story really puts things in perspective. When considering what the people of Guernsey, and much of the rest of Europe, went through, having to live with the Nazi occupation and seeing loved ones killed with little regard for life, it made sitting on my couch, eating too much as I quarantine, or having to wear a mask in public seem like very little to ask. The story takes place mainly in 1947 in the aftermath of WWII. A successful British writer, Juliet Ashton, played by Lily James, gets a letter from a man in Guernsey, Dawsey Adams, played by Michiel Huisman of Game of Thrones fame, because he found her address in one of the books their literary club had read. The club itself emerged from a confrontation with Nazi night watch when they were returning from a get together to eat forbidden pork and drink homemade gin. Drunk and terrified, the name of their club came out of desperation to cover their tardiness in getting home under curfew. They literally lied to save their lives, but as a result the literary club was registered and had to be continued with a Nazi chaperon. At least for a short time, until he gets bored with their meetings, where they read and dissected literary works. The Juliet is intrigued by the notion of their club and decides to invite herself down for a visit. There she meets the member of the club, minus one, the instigator of the club, Elizabeth McKenna, played by Jessica Brown Findlay, had been arrested a few years before hand and nobody has heard anything about her since. Juliet wants to write a piece for the London Times about the group, but they are extremely reticent, and it starts her down a path to find out why. There are several side stories that add conflict, including her engagement back in London to a Major in the US Army, and a young girl, being raised by Dawsey, that is the daughter of the missing Elizabeth. The story is wonderfully written and really sucked me in from start to finish. I am a sucker for a good love story and ultimately that is what this is. A love story wrapped in a mystery, with all the bells and whistles that would make a writer absolutely love this tale. The four of the actors are veterans of Downtown Abbey, the two female leads and the motherly figure of the group, and Juliet’s literary agent, played by Mathew Goode, who is incredible in everything he does. The entire cast is wonderful. My wife and I really connected with the story on many levels and things like this just refresh our love for each other, as pithy as that might sound. I cannot express enough how perfect this film is to watch right now.

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