xxxix. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Runtime:
141 mins
Tagline:
Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.
Writer(s):
Allan Heinberg (screenplay), Zack Snyder (story) ...
Director(s):
Patty Jenkins
Cast:
Gal Gadot Diana
Chris Pine Steve Trevor
Robin Wright Antiope
Lucy Davis Etta

Partly due to my lack of presence on the blogosphere, partly having so much on my mind I want to get down for my own benefit, this film has steered me back.

Back Story:
After all the hate that Man of Steel & BvS: Dawn of Justice have had (though not entirely undeserved), DC gave us Suicide Squad, their worst film by all accounts, doing neither justice to the characters or the medium of film for that matter. Stories of how there’s a good film out there, butchered on some table notwithstanding, the trollers and haters were having a field day, as the optimistic sons & daughters of Marthas worldwide hung their heads in shame, now putting all their hopes & dreams on the next pending DC film, conveniently touted as the underdog with few expectations.

Now, all this film had to do, was be average or slightly above it, to feed us some hope that there was a reinvention of the DCEU coming, give the fans at least the chance to say, the best of their films has only just arrived and better things are yet to follow.

It’s been great to see all the positive reviews come in after what seemed like a lacklustre effort by the marketers on this, compared to any of the other DC flicks anyway. I think all said and done, it’s no surprise this was achieved as soon as the media embargo was lifted and a stream of joyous excited reviews flooded the internet.

After the fact, I wonder now if was smart(er) marketing, learning from their previous mistakes of overselling & revealing too much. To date I can’t believe Doomsday (& Wonder Woman for that matter) had made the BvS trailer, it seemed desperate. This time, were they taking a strategic step back knowing the content itself will deliver, and if so, does this also shed light on their knowing that the others didn’t have enough going for them? Guess we’ll never really know unless there are convenient wiki leaks to back this theory. I digress — back to the film.

Front Story:
Having seen it, indeed it is the best of the lot thus far, no doubt about it, but it’s not enough to say that, for achieving that was going to be a relatively easy feat & well, the film was so much more. Now I know I’m supposed to yell it’s all about girl power yay but let’s set that aside, for the moment.

Here’s a superhero origin story that is neither a knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy, nor a fish out of water story of someone realising they could put their superhuman powers to good use*. It’s a story about fulfilling a purpose, the duty for which you exist, despite learning the ugliness of what you’re supposed to protect along the way. The internal conflict is unique & to match it the external conflict is more obviously unique too. This to me says, that on paper the concept already has freshness. Why they’ve held back the making of this is a mystery as good as any.

The film itself is whole bunch of fun, charm of the old, effects of the new, a symbiosis that’s been waiting to happen for a long while. I mean, once you’ve blown up all the planets & galaxies, it’s back to basics right? What else is there?

The Middle Bit
Now over to the girl power aspect of it. On a recent discussion panel, I’d heard a lot being said about the unfairness to women when it comes to roles, acting and otherwise & it is a sad state of affairs, but one comment I took away as the most productive amongst all the anger and outrage speeches, was the one that mentioned finding collaboration with men. Society, for better or worse, is what it is. Together there is a chance of making things better. That is a philosophy I can get on board with.

I don’t want to do any disservice to all the great male writers out there that have written fantastic female characters, but surely it’ll come to females more organically. The more they write, the more we get stronger more authentic female characters for actresses, the more they get, the more perspective we have out there. Many reviews for Wonder-Woman complimented that the camera looked at a woman differently. I agree. It was evident that having a female boss behind the camera will get you that.

For all the freshness that producers seek (or say they seek), it actually makes sense economically too for a film industry overall to expand its creative teams in ways that allow the most diversity.

The summary of that was: We need more women getting out there directing and writing. It’s not easy, no skill is, but we need you.

xxxix – #Wonder Woman #DC currently has an IMDb rating of 7.6 with 300,614 votes.

*Superman deciding to conquer the planet rather than helping them against external threats, would make for an interesting story & who knows, perhaps that’s what Justice League could be about. The theory has been hinted.


Azazel’s ‘Fallen’ Narrative

Fallen (1998)

– iMDB Rating: 7.0/10

Cast:
Denzel Washington John Hobbes
John Goodman Jonesy
Donald Sutherland Lt. Stanton
Embeth Davidtz Gretta Milano

Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
Written by: Nicholas Kazan (written by)
Full PDF Screenplay: Courtesy of dailyscript.com

Fallen

I was seeking a film that had skipped my radar at the time of it’s heyday that I could count on to be a decent read. Well, everybody loves Denzel, right? Okay, so I chose this quite irrationally, but I hadn’t seen it & the IMDb score made it a safe bet.

I read it and it is truly gripping. There isn’t a single page in it that doesn’t leave you with a need to know what happens next, the way a thriller should be. That’s the one main issue I discover on un-produced films and drafts that need a good re-write. If I got paid for every unnecessary monologue I have read where folks are sitting around and go into long driveling sentences, where a one-liner would suffice, I’d be filthy rich. Back on point Fallen has a big fat ‘zero’.

Here’s a scene that I think says plenty about good writing. There’s a clear distinction in characters, it shows friendly office banter, while staying on point with an ongoing investigation, moving it forward to the next clue, the next scene. Three quarters of page 46, just under a minute of footage, zero wastage.

HOBBES

Any more on Muskavich?

JONESY

Only his pizza.

LOU

(passing by)

Hitting your area of expertise, huh, Jonesy?

JONESY

(turns on Lou)

Look man. Pizza is the staff of life. Without pizza and other fine Italian foods, there is no happiness, okay?

(turns back to Hobbes)

There was one slice left. Deep dish: Garlic, Linguisa and pineapple. An unusual combo, but Gina’s over in Oak Park has it as a #17. Plus there was nothing in Muskavich’s stomach, so it was the killers eats.

HOBBES

You’re saying the killer might be from Oak Park?

I did after my read watch the film too and it translates pretty much as it is on the page. The only small departures were unimportant. How does one decide what is unimportant? Hmmm.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t either seen the film or read the screenplay, and want to avoid spoilers you should probably stop right here. Below I’m about to outline practically everything that happens in the film.

Continue reading