What I want from #WonderWoman

Since I can’t go see Wonder Woman until tomorrow, and I’m trying to stay off Twitter to stay spoiler-free, I thought I’d do a post here to jot down some things I’m hoping to see in this movie.

First, let me mention, I don’t really know anything about Wonder Woman as a character, or her backstory, etc. I was too young to watch the Wonder Woman TV show, but old enough to know one existed. I never really got into any of the DC comics. I’ve skipped most of the Batman and Superman and Spiderman sequels, but I love the Avengers, and I was reading X-Men comics before they were making X-Men movies. 

That said, I’m REALLY excited for this movie.

Overall, I really like super hero movies and watch almost all of them, eventually. However, I will say I’ve been suffering a little from super hero overload ever since Marvel and DC started trying to one-up each other with their movie franchises.

Still, I’m REALLY excited to see this movie.

In general, I’ll also say that I tend to prefer my super heroes either relentlessly optimistic (ex: Super Girl, Captain America) or fairly angsty and not exactly thrilled to be doing the whole super hero thing (ex: Deadpool, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones). I have no idea what to expect with WW, but that hasn’t stopped me from getting chills every time I watch the trailer.

Did I mention that I’m REALLY excited to see this movie? 😜

In a perfect world, this movie would be perfect. I know it won’t be perfect, but here are a few things I’m really hoping for (in no particular order):

  • Chris Pine as “damsel in distress” — I’ll admit, Chris Pine is my favorite Hollywood Chris. But, I really hope that his role in this movie is basically like Natalie Portman’s in Thor. Or even Chris H. when he was in Ghostbusters. Eye candy. Love interest (maybe, though not required). Regular dude. No saving the world. (But it’s okay if he helps a little.)
  • Diverse casting — We already know that our hero and heroine are white. I’m really hoping that this film isn’t completely whitewashed. I’ll be especially salty if all the ladies where WW comes from (already forgot the name of that place) are white.
  • WW is unique but not special — Please don’t give us a female super hero that’s “not like all the other girls.” I’m so over that trope.
  • Passes the Bechdel Test — This should be an easy one, but you never know. Since it’s a low bar, I’m going to add to the “two women talking about something other than a dude” requirement and say “also something other than battle/fight tactics.” Female friends. It’s not a tough concept. Model it on screen in a healthy way, that’s all I’m saying.
  • Be something I can take my nieces and nephew to see — I know. It’s an adult movie and they’re still in elementary school or younger. But, I really want this to be something I can share with them. They need female super heroes. Preferably more than one at a time / one per movie. But, baby steps.
  • LGBTQ+ friendly — I mean, it is Pride month. Could this be the first blockbuster super hero movie with cannon queer characters (Bucky and Cap fanfic aside)? That would be nice.
  • That this is not the last female-led super hero film (or action film, for that matter).

    If you’re already seen the movie, I have two things to say to you. 1) Lucky! And 2) don’t spoil it for me (or anyone).

    If you haven’t seen the movie yet, comment and let me know what you’re hoping to see on the screen! 

    Wishing everyone a very excellent WW Day! 

    By the Numbers: January 2014

    Let it be known, for the record, that 2014 and I did not get off to a good start. I almost don’t even want to recap January, because January and I didn’t get along so well. Needless to say, I’m really glad that January is over, and I’m hoping for a New Year “re-boot” with the Lunar New Year.

    Books

    Total read so far this year: 3
    (target = 36 total in 2014)

    I didn’t write a long blog post about books this month. I haven’t felt much like writing anything (more on that in the next section). I did read three books, even though, for a while there, I thought I wouldn’t get through any books this month. I kept picking up books, starting them, getting bored, and putting them down.

    The first book I finished (but not the first I started) was The Circle by Dave Eggers. I read it for a book club at work, but then didn’t get to go to the book club because I was sick. The book is about “the horrors” of living in a world with social media. The company in the book appears to be a poorly disguised version of Google. And, the entire thing comes off like a luddite hipster rant about the evils of technology. I have a lot of thoughts on that one, but they probably deserve their own post… one that I should have written when I didn’t go to that book club.

    The next book I finished was Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey. I’d started this shortly after the New Year, but got bogged down in the middle. I still haven’t read the series he’s become famous for (Wool). Eventually I will, but when I found out that his first series was a space opera featuring a sassy heroine who gets kicked out of her space fleet military academy, I knew I had to read that first. The story and the writing are a little rough, but overall I enjoyed it enough that I’ll probably pick up the others in the series. I think this was his first novel, so I imagine the writing gets better…

    And then, last weekend, I finally finished Dare Me by Megan Abbott. I started this on New Year’s Eve and thought it would be a quick, fun read. Nope. This book just dragged on and on for me. Her descriptions of teenage girls are vivid and realistic. Her ability to get into the mind of these high school cheerleaders and write believably from their perspective is impressive. Still… something just didn’t click for me. I don’t think I ever really cared about the characters or their story. Or maybe I’m just not a fan of contemporary / realistic YA.

    Overall, January was a disappointing reading month for me, if only because I didn’t read anything I really LOVED this month. It’s like I keep sampling all the chocolates in the box and, even though they’re chocolate, and what’s not to like about chocolate, they just aren’t satisfying my sweet tooth. I just can’t find my favorite flavor combination.

    This last week I started craving real, paper books. I still love my Kindle, but I think I’m going to change it up and read some paperback books in February. I have a bunch in my TBR pile on the bookcase. So, maybe I’ll give my Kindle a rest this month…

    Writing

    Gah! I am embarrassed to say that I think I went backwards this month. I did almost no writing, and then, when I did squeeze in some writing time, I decided to pull an entire section of my draft out because it felt like a massive backstory dump. And then I got hung up in the middle of my story and completely stalled for weeks because I just didn’t know what needed to happen to bridge from point A to point B in the plot. In the end, I think I had a net increase of about 1000 words. Pitiful.

    I keep asking myself if I just want to ditch this story and move on, but I still think there’s something there. I just need to finish this first (really bad) draft so I can start getting to work on fixing it. The problem is, I want to write it perfect the first time (impossible), which causes me to stall when I am unsure of the exact, perfect way forward. Sigh.

    Swimming

    This month I swam:

    • 12 of 31 days (target was ~18 days)
    • 24.3 miles (target was ~36 miles)

    I couldn’t swim for the first 10 days of January because I got an ear infection on New Year’s Eve and had to take the anti-bacteria drops for the full cycle to get rid of the funk. Oddly enough, it didn’t really hurt at all. But apparently I had some serious junk up in there.

    My first day back in the pool this year was the Santa Rosa Flower Power Swim Meet. I had signed up to swim all the 200s except 200 back. I ended up dropping time on my 200 free (my first race of the day), but swam horribly in all my other events. I tried hard to tell myself it didn’t matter, and it was completely understandable because I’d been out of the water for two weeks. But I couldn’t make myself listen.

    Then, after that first race and about a week of training, I came down with a cold that kept me out of the water for several days leading up to my second meet of the year, the Fog City Quadrathon. After having been out of the pool for most of the week, I got one practice in the day before the race. Somehow I managed to beat all my seed times and swim personal bests in all four of the freestyle events in the meet, even though I was still congested. This renewed some of my hope for this racing season.

    I’ve had too few practices this month, and most of them felt slow and crummy. The last two have felt really good, though. Today’s practice (technically a February swim) was particularly good, though I had to cut it short before I was really ready to get out of the pool.

    Next weekend I have my third meet of the year, and my first chance to drop some time in my 100 breaststroke. At this point, I’m just hoping I can stay healthy and keep swimming strong practices through the rest of the season.

    Pop Culture of the Month

    I bought two new albums at the tail end of December, one of which I’ve been listening to almost every time I have a chance this month: My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men. I’m not sure why I like it so much. The story teller in me especially loves this video:

    We watched five good but not great movies, and two fabulous, lovable, perfect episodes of BBC’s Sherlock, Season 3. I’m excited and sad to watch the final episode of this season tomorrow. I hate the long wait between new seasons of Sherlock!

    So there you have it. January. Done. Here’s to the Year of the Horse!

    Best of 2013: Movies

    By rough count I watched around 55 movies and/or TV or web series in 2013.

    In an attempt to select my “top five” movies of 2013, I decided to only consider movies (not TV or web series), and only movies that I watched for the first time in 2013. That brought the list of contenders to just under 50 movies.

    Picking my “top five” movies from that list of 50 was not easy. I ended up with eight favorites and considered making this a “top eight” list instead. But, after careful consideration, I realized that three of these movies were not like the others. You see, sometimes I really enjoy things because they are cheesy, fun, feel-good movies. Other times I am blown away by a more serious or tense drama because of an excellent story and/or casting and filming.

    When it came down to it, five movies stood out as the “best” movies I watched this year, and the other three were good, but I realized that I primarily liked them because they fell firmly in the feel-good camp. So, I dropped those three movies from the list (as painful as that was for me).

    But, before I give you my “top five” list, I want to highlight the best TV and web series I watched this year…

    I don’t watch actual TV. I don’t have time for it and I don’t have the patience to tune in every week to catch the next episode. I really only watched two TV series in 2013: Season 2 of Game of Thrones and Season 1 of House of Cards. As much as I like Game of Thrones, I’m going to have to give this year’s win for best TV series to House of Cards. (Season 2 comes out on 2/14/2014!)

    The best (and only) web series I watched in 2013 was The LIzzie Bennet Diaries. This is a modern “video-blog” version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the creators / actors just nailed it. Check it out if you haven’t already.

    Now, what you’ve been waiting for… here are the “top five” movies I watched in 2013 (with the reviews I wrote in previous “By the Numbers” monthly update posts):

    1. Argo — How did I miss this one when it came out? This movie was so good. I absolutely loved it. And now that I’m thinking about it, I want to watch it again.
    2. Much Ado About Nothing — Just watch this. Shakespeare’s words in a modern day setting. It’s so good. And I’m not just saying that because Joss Whedon made this.
    3. Winter’s Bone — resisted watching this for a while because I wasn’t sure I would like it, but boy was I wrong! This was a really good movie.
    4. Star Trek Into Darkness — You have to see this if you like “Space, the final frontier.” It is a really good movie. And not just because brimming with hotties. I love space. The effects in this movie are so good. We saw it in 3D which made it even better.
    5. Salvador — (for some reason I never posted about this movie and Hubby had to remind me of it… this was a mid-eighties movie that Hubby and I were too young to watch at the time it came out, so it was new to us…)

    And, in case anyone is interested in the three movies that were left behind as close runners-up to my “top five” movies… they are: Galaxy Quest, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Pitch Perfect. The funny thing is, even though the movies on my “top five” list were better movies than these three, I’ll probably end up re-watching these three movies more times than any on the top five list (except for Star Trek Into Darkness).

    Summer Movies

    It all started with Greg asking me to add something to the Netflix queue… that led me to IMDB to watch the trailer for said movie. Then I had to check what’s playing now to make sure I’m not missing anything. Then I had to check whats “coming soon” to make sure I’m not missing anything. And here I am approximately an hour later, with not just one, but SIXTEEN movies added to my Netflix queue.

    Let’s see if I can recapture them in chronological order of finding:

    1. It all started with Frances Ha
    2. Which led me to Hannah Takes the Stairs
    3. Where I noticed that Robot & Frank was also liked by others who liked that movie…
    4. Then I checked what’s playing now and found After Earth
    5. Earlier today I had added a few “coming soon” movies like The Internship
    6. and The Bling Room (I’ll watch anything with Emma Watson — Hermione!)…
    7. and The Great Gatsby (it stars Leonardo diCaprio, but I’ll watch it anyway…)…
    8. and The Kings of Summer which I missed when we had the free Twitter screening…
    9. So I skipped over those until I saw World War Z whose trailer we saw before Star Trek Into Darkness, and which stars Brad Pitt, but I’ll watch it anyway, because… end of the world movie!
    10. I skipped The Heat because I will see a screening of it next week…but I added I’m So Excited on the basis of the fact that I liked Almodovar’s other movies, even though the trailer shows us nothing…
    11. Somewhere in here I noticed Red 2 which is a movie for the Boomer demographic, but Helen Mirren kicks ass, and Bruce Willis and John Malcovitch are funny old dudes at this point — all reasons I ended up watching the first Red movie — so I will probably watch this one too…
    12. Then I saw Despicable Me 2, which was also a trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, and I remembered I haven’t even seen the first Despicable Me move, so I added both to my queue…
    13. As I was scrolling I noticed Fruitvale Station and realized they made a movie about a recent current event in San Francisco, and added it to the queue…
    14. Then we have Kick Ass 2, which I will admit looks pretty dumb, but again, I saw the first one, and I’ll probably watch this one too, but will likely wait until it’s on DVD…
    15. Then I watched the trailer for The World’s End, laughed, and added that to my DVD queue…
    16. And just now, as I was compiling this list, I noticed that I missed Epic! How could I have missed Epic. Added.

    Given what you know about my taste preferences, you might notice at least two glaring omissions from this list. I have not added Man of Steel or Much Ado About Nothing to my list. The later is easy, I want to see it as soon as possible, so I will probably see it in the movie theater. It’s a movie by Joss Whedon, and stars many of my favorites from the Whedon-verse, such as Nathan Fillion.

    Man of Steel is a little more tricky… it’s a “blockbuster” and should probably be seen on the big screen for best effects. But I’m growing tired of these stupid superhero movies. Not The Avengers — yet — mostly only because it’s now a Joss movie. But these superhero movies are just cash cows and never seem to have a good story. Just lots of action and “wow” effects. Meh. Not that interested.

    Why is Star Trek different? I’m so glad you asked. Because Star Trek is “SPACE, the final frontier.” It’s science fiction. It’s a great big imagining of our future. And I love that. What I also love is that many of the above movies, and the biggest one that I can’t wait to see in November (Ender’s Game!), are also big immaginative science fiction movies. Space! Aliens! Robots! The end of the world!

    I can already tell this is going to be a great summer for movies. If we’re finally over the vampire hump and have moved on to space invaders, I’m all in. Of course, I’m also cheap. So I’ll probably wait to see them on the small screen. Thanks, Netflix.