Wonder Woman (Spoiler?) Review

Yes! I went to see Wonder Woman yesterday with my Mom and sisters, and it was fantastic! I had to revive my blog just to rave about it (my blog has been on hiatus and in private mode so that I can focus on work and fully “adjust” to the adult world—it’s a personal thing). I’ve officially become obsessed with the movie and character.

I’m not a comic books nor a superhero fan. It’s one of the movie “genres” that I ignore. It’s just not my taste. I used to think that it can be pretty formulaic most of the times with the dude-gets-superpowers-and-decides-to-start-fighting-crimes-with-final-boss-battle-at-the-end. I’m aware though of how passionate comic book fans can be when it comes to this. I believe as of right now, the Marvel versus DC war is still ongoing out there in the comments section of YouTube movie trailers, debating on which cinematic universe makes more sense or which superhero movie adaptation is still the best. I usually avoid them, but it can be pretty amusing.

Besides, I don’t know my comic book stuff. I didn’t even know that there’s a whole different bunch of superheroes besides Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and that there’s in fact another team of meta-humans (or in this case, mutants?) called The Avengers. Spiderman is probably the only other superhero I knew. Even then he’s never been invited to avenge with them. Blame my parents for introducing me only to the DC superheroes as I grew up. It was only recently as the movies came out that I learned the existence of Thor, Captain America, and the others.

My Mom though is a big fan of Wonder Woman since Lynda Carter days. I watched some of the re-run episodes from childhood. I don’t remember much though. I would watch them with her sometimes but I never understood it nor enjoyed it. But I do know how Mom loves it so much. Wonder Woman is her all-time favorite superhero. So when I heard that the 2017 movie is coming out, I just knew I had to bring her and my sisters to the cinema.

At first, she was skeptical about the new Wonder Woman. She watched the series when she was still young. She had high expectations, set by her memories of the first adaptation. But she was still, of course, delighted and excited about finally having a live-action film about her beloved superhero after so many years. Spoiler Alert: She loved it! We all did. Now, here’s my honest thoughts about the movie, coming from a non-fan who fell in love all of a sudden with a superhero for the first time in her life. Just to be clear, I’m not an expert in comic books nor movies, but here’s just what I think.

Before you proceed, know that there might be spoilers, but I’ll try not to give away too much details. So if you’re planning to watch the movie and don’t want to ruin the story, best try not to continue reading.

The Good:

Story

It was well-written, very cohesive, and solid overall. As someone who doesn’t know about the origins of Wonder Woman or Diana, I didn’t know what to expect, but what I learned about her, I loved. The story started by introducing her mythical origins. I keep seeing parallels with the Christian theology–mostly the Fall of Lucifer–even though her story is very much based on the Greek mythology and features the Greek God of War, Ares. That made it easier for me to get into the story because I connected immediately (Catholic here).

The best thing about the story though is the seamless transition between the mythological exposition and the World War I setting. I love how the plot didn’t only show us how Wonder Woman came to be, but also how she grew as a person. It wasn’t just a story of someone finding out that she can be a superhero and fight the bad guys. Typical origin story. There were no “bad guys” here. Or at least, the real villains weren’t the expected bad guys. It was war itself. This is the story of a woman who learned that human morality isn’t as clear as black and white, and that the war will not stop by simply killing one boss villain. She learns that being a savior is more about fighting for what you believe in and less about defeating the bad guys and rid the world of all evil. ‘Cause no one really is purely evil nor good. It’s all a blur of in-between. But the movie was still hopeful about humanity.

Characters

Great casting, great chemistry! Gal Gadot was amazing, Chris Pine was perfect. I can’t imagine anyone else for the roles of Diana and Steve.

Two things this movie can boast are the character development, especially of the movie’s superhero, and the perfect balance between her and her love interest—who was just more than a love interest.

Diana started off as this naive girl who had absolute views of good and evil, war and justice. Coming from a hidden paradise of female warriors, of course she would be clueless about what’s happening in the real world. She soon realized the gray truths of humanity when Steve brought her to the war-torn areas.

Here’s where the balance comes in: Steve became her reality-check. But it wasn’t just Steve’s realist and almost cynical views that made him the perfect counterpart for Diana. Diana might be the “super,” but Steve was also just as strong-willed as her and it made him the perfect match. They were equals in character.

There was no power-play of the sexes. Yeah, most definitely this is a women-empowering film but it never forced feminist views nor dragged down any of the sexes to uplift another. Both the characters are learning from each other. Diana, the reality of human nature and the importance of holding on to your values from Steve, and Steve, the optimism to save the world and having hope for humanity from Diana. They were just two people, though with different views, fighting the same battle.

In the end, Diana matured as person and was able to determine what she really was fighting for. And Steve, well, you will always be in our hearts and your sacrifice will forever be remembered. *sobs*

Execution

The right mix of narrative and action. Before I could even get bored of the backstories (which would still be impossible for me because the backstories and the little down time moments were engaging, honest, and heartfelt at times), they give me stellar action sequences. There were three main action sequences in the movie–the beach battle, the Front battle, and the final boss battle–that were evenly distributed throughout the film. In between these parts, there was enough time for character development and story-telling. It was effective to give fans the hype and excitement of actions scenes that they expect from a superhero film, at the same time, show them the story without dragging on the plot. Slow-mo effects? I had no problem with that. Wonder Woman was still kickass!

There were also these funny and adorables little moments that added charm to the movie and the character of Wonder Woman, mostly. None of the humor felt forced or cheesy. When she saw a baby, when she tried to get out of the revolving door, when she ate ice cream, these little scenes showed how much Diana was out of place in the WWI London setting. These moments became opportunities for light breathers before the movie focused on the brutal effects of war, and I’m telling you. When the scenes of the soldiers from the war came on, showing their chopped leg and bloodied bandages, and Diana had to pass through them, mothers and children begging for help as explosions go off meters away from them, those really pierced me and stirred something in me. I’d say that the movie was successful to make us emotionally invest in the characters and the setting they were in. It was very timely.

The Bad:

The final boss. I just think that I was misled with the main villain. Just when you think she would have to fight either the general or the scientist, Spoiler Alert: Ares was real and he’s the old cabinet speaker. I read that Ares is an actual villain in the DC universe but I almost wanted him to be a misconception of Diana about the war, not an actual villain. At least not in this movie. I don’t know any other alternatives for Ares as the final villain but I thought it would have more impact if Ares was more of a representation of war, rather than a god to defeat. It’s just a little bit of a bait-and-switch for me with that plot twist. But it didn’t really ruin the movie for me, so it was still okay, and the overall movie is just too good that it didn’t matter at all. The rest of the story elements made up for it.

The Score: 9/10 Badass with a heart. (The deducted point is obviously for the villain.)

MASTERPIECE

Chills! The feels! Words aren’t enough to describe the perfection that is this song. This is why B.A.P will always be my ultimate bias group. I was right all along to stan them since day one. They never fail to give us fans songs that are close to a masterpiece. They deserve more recognition; they are so underappreciated these days. Even if you don’t understand the language, you will feel the emotions in this song and be able to connect to it. That’s the power of B.A.P’s music. Yeah, I’m being such a fangirl but these are the little things that I want to celebrate. Have you never had an artist or a musician that made you feel this way?

Gosh, I’m so emotional about this. It’s just that I’ve been a huge fan of theirs through and through, and they went through a lot of hardships—the lawsuit against the company’s “slave contract,” majority of fans leaving them for younger groups, their leader’s recent hiatus due to panic disorder—to keep pushing for their dreams as artists, so I know just how much they’ve been working hard. They are very talented and grounded so they deserve all the success in the world. I wish to see them in person on day and simply thank them for bringing good music to my life.

Latest Obsession, This Band

Goodness! How are they able to make a song that gets me every time? Their songs are always so freaking good! This isn’t the first time that I turned on my fangirl mode for them on my blog. Bear with me, please! I’m in love with them!

I just wanna share with you this awesome band called Day6. They are an all-male 5-member indie rock band from South Korea, and for every 6th day of the month this year, they release a new single. For March, they just released the music video for their newest title “How Can I Say” and it’s exactly the song I wanted from them. I’m sure this will be on repeat for the rest of the month.

For some reason, this song in particular reminded me of Sid, a visual kei rock band from Japan. That’s a good thing because I love Japanese rock music! But I still hear the familiar Day6 sound that I love about them, this vibe of melancholy and desperation in their songs.

Conspiracy

Is it a trend now to announce wrong winners? What’s up with that? (I’m talking about you, Oscars.)

I am sure the Miss Universe 2015 accident with Steve Harvey was just an honest mistake. But this time, there’s something fishy.

Miss Universe 2015 became one of the most viral things that happened  last year, 2016. That incedent, though embarrassing as it was, brought instant fame to the pageant that only a fraction of the world’s entire population cares about. 

This time, with the Oscars, I can’t say the same for them. I don’t know, it smells like a CONSPIRACY to me.

What I know, they “accidentally” gave the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty who then “reluctantly” announced the wrong winner (according to the sources I’ve read). If that doesn’t seem fishy to you. I don’t know what will. It’s the main award! The biggest of ’em all! How can you accidentally give the wrong envelope when this is supposed to be a prestigious, well-organized event? Better get someone fired, then.

But, I think this is not just a simple mistake. This was all planned to make people (who could only care less about the nominated movies that only pretentious people would honestly enjoy) care more. I say, it was the perfect ploy. It worked for Miss Universe 2015 though it was incidental. The Academy Awards was taking notes.

I have a feeling that La La Land was in on it too. But poor Moonlight was the actual winner here but came out as the collateral damage. Such is life. Everything is a conspiracy and it’s matter of whether you’re on the inside or outside of it.

(Seriously speaking, mistakes happen all the time. It’s okay. There’s something that can always come out of it. For the Oscars, it’s a few seconds of fame and a viral meme.)

Random Question of the Day

If you were given the chance to commit the worst possible crime, what would it be and most importantly, what would your motives be?

This is one of the questions that people won’t probably discuss so openly. A guilty pleasure of mine is taking a look at the darker side of human nature—what humans can do out of anger, pride, envy, desperation, or insanity. We try to conceal these things because these things are not good. Quite an understatement. But maybe, just maybe, if we try to get in touch with this side of humanity, we would be able to understand how criminal minds work and use it to our advantage to prevent bad things from happening.

Or maybe I’ve just had too much of dark psychological thrillers that’s why I have these thoughts. I should stop watching those.

THIS IS HOW YOU TURN 21

Yesterday I turned 21 and my two best guy friends came over my house to celebrate with me. IN THE MOST MIND-F*CKING WAY EVER!

We watched two seasons of Black Mirror, a British anthology series, and words can’t express enough how I felt as I watched every brilliantly disturbing episode of it. All I can say is that it was a total mind-f*ck—and that’s saying a lot because I’ve watched so many psychological thrillers before. It shook me. In different yet thematic ways, each episode boldly criticized how primitive and twisted the nature and moral compass of people can be as slaves to technology and media. It’s sick, yes, but it’s also a forecast reflection of human society today, and that’s what makes it more frightening. I don’t want to give away spoilers but if you’re gonna watch it, I’m warning you, you should have a strong stomach and a stable mental health. It’s a great series but it can be so dark and oh, goodness gracious, that first episode with the pig! NO! Just, no! Whoever wrote each episode is a mad genius. Literally mad.

I think I just gave myself a trauma. Way to turn 21 by giving myself a mental, moral, and existential crisis. And my friends just went to the beach after and left me to sleep in distress alone, questioning my life and sanity. Awesome. I had nightmares while the two of them are still camping by the beach in this sunny December day. Those two!

What if Maui was another handsome prince?

Recently, I watched Disney’s newest animated film hit, Moana, with my sisters. I enjoyed it a lot and I gotta say, it’s so much better than Frozen, story and animation-wise. Moana reminds me a lot of Mulan because they both have the courage, the intelligence, and the heart to follow what they believe and prove themselves. Unlike Mulan though—and the other Disney princess films—there’s no good-looking prince to the rescue, no handsome thief to help the girl out of the tower, no ice-making nice guy to guide the princess through ice and snow. There’s only a self-obsessed demigod who isn’t as lovable or as charismatic as the other Disney men (I mean, he’s fun and relatable as a character but he’s not as “dashing” if you know what I mean) and guess what—he has no romantic chemistry with Moana whatsoever. It’s a breath of fresh air and I liked that. (Although, I still think that Zootopia is the best 3D animated film by Disney yet.)

But I wonder what would happen differently if Maui was instead the typical “handsome” prince (or demigod) that would fall in love with the girl by the end of the film. Would it make the movie less spectacular than it is right now? I love the way the film is now but I’m trying to imagine how Moana would come out if they’ve gone the usual Disney route. YOu know, even Zootopia hinted at a love story! So I’m just wondering.