Friday, June 30, 2017

What would Walt Disney think of Pixar?

When I was in junior high (I guess they call that middle school these days), we were asked to write a book report on a biography of someone famous. Most people chose presidents. I chose Walt Disney. There might be some people today that don't know that he was an actual person and just think that's the name of the corporation. But Walter "Elias" Disney was one of America's business tycoons that created theme parks and among many animated things, Mickey Mouse. And if there's anything that I remember from writing that report it's this: Walt Disney was most definitely not perfect. Sure he was innovative and successful, but he was the subject of many controversies (not the least of which was that he might have been anti-Semitic and even racist). The debate on those claims (I don't think) was never settled. So yeah...the man was a flawed human just like everyone else.

At the same time though, I ask myself (sometimes) when I think about the man who created the machine that now owns the biggest studios in Hollywood, "What would Walt Disney think of ____?" and then fill in the blank. Because Cars 3 was recently on my mind, naturally that question turned to Pixar, which is a studio I wholeheartedly love. I like Pixar more than Dreamworks and Illumination (Despicable Me franchise), although there may be singular movies in those studios (like the How to Train Your Dragon ones) that I consider masterpieces.

In an interview that his daughter, Diane Disney, gave, she was asked this question: What do you think he'd [Walt] think of all the best animated movies today that are computer animated? She responded that "He'd love that."

Without even having met the guy and only having watched Pixar films, I would agree. Pixar films are designed to transport us not just out of our lives, but out of the theater itself. They remind us of simpler times, the memories and emotions that make us who we are. Pixar takes all of us on trips to our childhoods, our happiest moments, our saddest moments...for some reason this animated studio can tap into all of that through their stories.

Or maybe that reason is simply that the ones who work at Pixar understand that the most important stories resonate with people because they appeal to a core truth of being alive? What do you think (if you, dear reader, are also a fan of Pixar films--to be honest, if you're not we really shouldn't be friends). They also tend to deal with something that might be considered darker in tone in a way that many of us find readily accessible.

Or maybe Pixar movies are great because of the influence of one creative genius. In particular, I'm thinking of Brad Bird, who is someone that (I think) Walt would have championed. Brad Bird's IMDB profile gives him eight Pixar credits (all very influential from senior creative team to director) that include: Inside Out, Monsters University, Brave, Toy Story 3, Up, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles 2 (due out in 2018). Brad Bird is a great technical director but more importantly his films always have that touch of a tender heart which separates the pedestrian animated films from those which will last and resonate emotionally for years to come.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Please let me know in the comments.

I will be taking next week off from blogging as I have a friend coming into town and all sorts of things planned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

You seriously should be reading the Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley.

I'm having a lot of fun reading a book by a new author (new to me) called Brian Staveley. The book in question is the novel, The Emperor's Blades, and I'm a little over halfway through. But the book is something I haven't been able to put down since I started reading it in earnest since Friday. Every spare moment, I find myself grabbing it, and then immersing myself in the story which seems to plug every button in the "things I love about epic fantasy" box. Just so you know, there are lots of spoilers for the plot of this book in my post, but I can't help myself. The details are just too good not to want to chat about them. Brian Staveley is a brilliant storyteller I've read since George R.R. Martin. Seriously. And I don't think that comparison cheapens him at all, because Staveley is not a Martin knock-off. Not one bit. He just has that greatness to his storytelling that is OMG so good. Also, this is not a review post. I haven't finished the book. This is a "OMG this book is so exciting" post, if that's even a thing.

The story is told from the perspective of three characters who are children of the Emperor. There's Kaden who lives with a bunch of monks in the most inhospitable and remote region on the planet. The monks of course are complete bastards that beat up their charges and practice monkish philosophy in the sense that they are trying to completely empty themselves of all emotions. There's Valyn who's out in the middle of this god-forsaken ocean on some remote islands training to be a Kettral warrior (the Kettral make navy seal training pale in comparison). And then there's Adare who's the lone daughter who lives in the capital city. Pretty much at the start of the book the Emperor dies, and pretty quickly, it's concluded that he was murdered. As the book unravels, mysteries in all three storylines are cleverly spun and the super intelligent and athletic characters uncover the clues along with the reader in excellent real-time, so you are there for all of the surprises and the "Eureka" moments, figuring things out pretty much at the same time as the point of view character does. It's that clever. Really, I never found myself ahead of a character, unraveling something before it was revealed (and I consider myself a pretty astute reader). And Brian Staveley's prose is so good.

In Valyn's storyline, he's a cadet in training to become a Kettral warrior. This is named after the great birds that these cadets fly (also called Kettrals) with a wingspan of some 70 feet. One person rides on the back, and then four others (part of the Wing or squad) hang onto the claws using straps and performing various duties. One person is a sniper, another is a leach (which is a human with magical powers that are drawn from a source and can do all kinds of things), a third is the flyer, the fourth is the wing leader/commander, and there's a fifth person that kind of has a jack-of-all trades skillset.

Because Valyn is a prince, he gets all kinds of crap from the other cadets and some even go as far as hating him. About the same time as the emperor gets assassinated, he almost gets killed when an inn/tavern he's inside of tumbles into the sea. Later, he and his best friend (a female cadet called Ha Lin) conclude (correctly) that it was someone trying to assassinate him. This leads them to follow clues that lead to a grisly murder scene and where they've gathered enough information to conclude that one of the Kettral cadets must be trying to murder him.

The training Valyn has to go through is brutal. When he finally takes the Trial of Hull, he's essentially been through five days of sheer torture where he and the other cadets have been pushed to the literal brink of physical and emotional exhaustion. They are dropped off on this island that none of them have ever seen and taken to the entrance of a gigantic labyrinth of caves. Suspended above this massive entrance (a hole if you will) is a cage containing a pair of monsters called slarn. Each of the cadets has to let the slarn bite them, and their poison is so virulent that if they don't get the cure, it essentially cripples them physically for the rest of their lives. The poison makes it to the heart in about 24 hours. They are then sent into the labyrinth of caves with two swords and a torch that will burn 10-hours and told to find a white egg in a nest of these slarn and eat it. That's the cure.

Valyn spends hours fumbling around in the dark, and it's really tense, before he lights his torch. He comes across nest after nest where the eggs are already destroyed. Eventually, he has to throw himself into an underground river when he's attacked by a dozen slarn and ends up deep in the earth on some beach where he's able to eventually get his torch going again. There's this enormous nest near him and he wanders over to it and finds a black egg. With no time remaining he basically slurps it down, and it does cure him, and then he flees like the biggest slarn ever and makes it to the surface. There near the top he finds his best friend murdered, and he emerges and scares the bejeesus out of everyone because his eyes have turned completely black. That's essentially where I am with Valyn's storyline...and I really can't wait to read more. Oh and the eggs give the Kettral powers. Valyn's egg (of course) bestows even more powers than a white egg would.

In Kaden's storyline, he's been in monk training for the last eight years (like Valyn) and can't seem to understand why the monks are trying to pursue emptiness. Like why is that even a thing? So...and because he isn't making much progress...he gets taken before the abbot who finally explains why they've been trying to get him to reach this hallowed state of emptiness. They explain that humans essentially come from these gods called clestrium (I know I'm mispelling this word). Something happened long ago that made these immortals start to bare mortal children who had emotions (the clestrium didn't have those kinds of emotions) and the immortals viewed these kids as abominations and tried to kill them. Well they didn't succeed and humans soon outbred the clestrium and a war started and the immortals lost and were driven through magical gates that they used to travel all over the planet instantaneously. The emperor is supposed to be the keeper of the gates. The monks are descendants of people who figured out that the gates actually lead to another plane ruled over by the blank god, who doesn't allow anyone to use his gates or trespass in his kingdom that manifests emotions. In other words, you have to be completely empty to use the gates. So basically, the monk training is all toward this goal of producing an Emperor that can command the power of the gates that these ancient beings left behind. It's really kind of cool.

Finally, Adare's storyline has the least content, but is still fascinating. In her part of the world, she's piecing together who might have murdered her father (or have motive to do so). One particular priest (who is probably a leach) out politics her in a Game of Thrones-inspired maneuver that definitely left me invested and wanting more of that storyline.

So anyway, if you are looking for characters with strong moral compasses, amazing storytelling, and prose that will sing off the page you should check Brian Staveley out. I'm so glad I found these books. It's just what I needed in my life.

Monday, June 26, 2017

It's time to start humming the Game of Thrones theme song because it's just three weeks away.

Game of Thrones returns July 16th. Until then, you should check out this three minute mashup trailer that shows just how far we've come in cinematic quality of a television series. I'm so excited. Did I mention that the finale is going to be 81 minutes long? Wow.

Friday, June 23, 2017

47 Meters Down is terrifying.

Why oh why do I watch shark movies? I don't think there is anything I am more afraid of...anything that strikes within me the same chords of a great white shark. Yet, I can't take my eyes off of them. I watch shark week, print out trivia questions, and put myself through movies like "47 Meters Down."

To prepare for 47 Meters Down, I asked my friend Brad lots of shark trivia questions over dinner. He, after all, needed to be ready for the movie too. Did you know that great white sharks have deep blue eyes? Yeah, the movie Jaws would have you believe that sharks have black those of a doll that has emotionless buttons for eyes. I think it was Quinn that described it that way. And yeah, I can rattle off names like "Quinn" the crazy captain of the ill-fated boat in Jaws because I watch it all the time. Jaws is kind of timeless.

More things to know about great whites: they are warm-blooded. Their skin is comprised of extremely tiny teeth instead of scales and in the olden days, people would use the shark skin as sandpaper. More facts: no one knows how great white sharks mate or where they give birth. It's never been observed in the wild. Additionally, great white sharks possess seven senses (two more than humans). They have tiny receptors that allow them to sense electrical impulses within living things. The other sense is a pressure gauge, giving them specific knowledge of how much pressure they are experiencing in their environment.

Going through all of these facts with my best friend was a lot of fun over dinner, but the actual movie 47 Meters Down was terrifying. The premise was pretty simple, and you actually get all of the plot from watching the trailer. Two girls on vacation go for a shark dive in a cage, the cage breaks, and they wind up 47 meters down on the bottom of the ocean surrounded by hungry great white sharks. That's pretty much when the terror starts and doesn't let up until the last minute of the movie. Let's just put it this way, I don't think I will ever put my toe even so much as an inch in the ocean.

If you like a stressful edge of your seat thriller, you owe it to yourself to see this latest shark movie. It's pretty darn good.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm going against popular opinion here and saying that M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender is actually not terrible.

My friend Meg has a teenaged daughter that loves a Nickelodeon series called Avatar: The Last Airbender. I'd seen the movie, which mother and daughter both despised with vitriol that is seldom-seen unless talking about the atrocities of concentration camps in World War 2. Nevertheless, she and her mom convinced me that my life just wasn't complete until I saw the series (which is way better than the movie "The Last Airbender"). So I've been slowly making my way through it via Amazon, and to be honest, although it is enjoyable it's also really childish. And when I say childish...I mean it's really not all that good. Is it still watchable? Yes. But every episode clearly has a moral of the story to it, and because its Japanese animation the eyes and exaggerated emotions get kind of silly after a while.

So out of curiosity, I watched The Last Airbender again on television. This movie by M. Night Shyamalan almost killed his career. It is not a great movie by any means...but a career killer? I fail to see why people were so outraged that they literally spit on it. Sure, they cast a bunch of white people as Asian characters. However, this happens all of the time and has been happening for years. And for what the movie disregards in the form of silliness (for me) seems to streamline the story to make it more that more things are happening faster. In the cartoon, it takes forever for Aang to reach the water bending people. In the movie, it happens within the breadth of a couple of episodes.

I think if people could get past the liberal outrage of having white people play Asian characters, they could actually see that the effects and the work that went into the film qualify it to be an average film. Sure, it had aspirations to be this amazing blockbuster, but it made too many mistakes to ever qualify for that. This, I gladly caveat to the eviscerating critics of the movie.

I'm a little disappointed that we'll never get to see sequels to the movie. There were supposedly three that had been planned, and perhaps there would have been opportunities to include more of the things that people loved about the cartoon into those movies. But there's a part of me that wonders if anyone even understood why people went nutso over Avatar: The Last Airbender. Again, it's plot doesn't strike me as all that original in the vein of fantasy, and the incessant "smacking one over the head" with a moral was kind of annoying. Maybe kids just liked the cartoon because 1) kung fu has always been "cool," and 2) anything Japanese like "Hello Kitty" is also cool, and 3) combining kung fu with magic is somehow the most amazing thing ever.

Or maybe I'm just too jaded to see the sorcery at work here. Yeah, maybe that's it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Here are five assorted musings that I have regarding Cars 3 which is excellent by the way.

Last night's Cars 3 was a good movie in the Pixar line, easily on par with the original Cars and much better than Cars 2. I came away from the movie with several observations, and this review (of sorts) has spoilers in it. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Assorted Musings:

1) The Pixar short (which is called "Lou") that runs in front of the movie is totally worth getting there early to see.

2) Cars somehow brought back Paul Newman's ghost for new lines in this movie. If you remember, Paul Newman had a HUGE role in the first movie as he was Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen's teacher. If you haven't watched Cars in a while, I recommend watching it before you go to Cars 3, because it relies heavily on that source material. I also need to research how Pixar got the lines it used from Paul Newman (who died in 2008). So there is that mystery to solve.

3) The animation is the most spectacular I've ever seen come out of Pixar, and that's including even Finding Dory (which looked spectacular). If it weren't for the fact that the characters had a cartoony look, everything would be absolutely real down to the individual leaves on the trees.

4) I only spotted three Pixar easter eggs. The first was A113, which is on the door of the CEO of RustEze, Lightning McQueen's sponsor for the races. The second is a still for the Pixar movie CoCo which has been seen in the commercials for it (it's Pixar's next movie). Of course Dinoco was there, but Dinoco has been pretty prominent in the franchise, so I don't really count that as an Easter Egg since their CEO has plenty of speaking parts. The third easter egg that I spotted was "Lightyear," the brand name emblazoned on Lightning McQueen's tires. It's obviously a nod to "Buzz Lightyear" from Toy Story.

5) After much deliberation by my friend Brad Habegger, he has said that the homonculus theory of Cars doesn't hold up if we consider that there are no insects in this world. Rather, there are little flying cars with wings. I talked about the homonculus theory on this post. He also pointed out that the theory (if it were correct) actually makes the world less horrific. His point was that the way it stands now...that these cars are sentient beings...means that when they are getting their tires removed and other things replaced it's literally like stripping the skin and appendages off of a living thing. So I guess I agree with him. So maybe Cars (even with the Easter eggs) takes place in a universe that is separate from Toy Story and Finding Nemo.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

There are many days when I wish the trope of good versus evil was a real thing.

This is called "Chess Good vs Evil" and is by the artist WhySoSerious91 on DeviantART.
 Click HERE to see MORE.
I think that good versus evil makes for the best story lines because it gives meaning to everyone's existence. It's why video games work, it's why religions work, and it's why so many people in the world grapple with a lack of meaning in their lives. The real world doesn't provide clear cut villains. In reality, there's no cackling lich living inside a tomb of horrors ready to conquer the world, devoid of any redeeming virtues, and surrounded by magical minions. Human motivations are much more complex, nuanced, and speckled with all kinds of emotions.

It's tragic really that good versus evil is a construction of man. The tale is spun over and over again from Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader, from Superman to Lex Luthor, and from the Horde to the Alliance. In a world that has no evidence of any of these things, many of us (left to our own devices) start asking the question: why am I here? And for those that don't find a soothing thought in expressions like, "to love," or "to help others," or "to bear children," might soon become prone to depression and anxieties formulated over a hot greasy grill. The person might ask themselves, "What if this is as good as it gets?" Living without the hope of something better is a pretty awful thing, and most of us are better served not even contemplating that question.

Good versus evil doesn't actually exist, but we all want it to exist. Most of us want to think of having this greater purpose that allows us to become heroes in the face of atrocious villainy that is evil for evil's sake. We want to believe in situations where evil appears skull-faced and with tentacles dripping slime, where the horrific appearance of the monster exactly matches that of the hideous things the monster will do, and that it will be apparent to everyone that the one that is evil is in fact wearing black and has the moniker, "Dr. Evil." Life would be so much simpler if we had these things as a society to unite behind, and if it was clear cut to all what was right and what was wrong. Heroes (after all) would be strong with perfect physiques, and they would always get the girl. We want to live in a world where there are no Bill Cosby's...where no man has done many great things but has done equally bad things too. Bill Cosby isn't supposed to happen. We aren't supposed to laugh at the comedic genius of the rapist. What cruel joke is this?

If there are too many people who can't figure out a purpose in life, it's bad for society. People without purpose, who are unable to ascribe meaning to their day-to-day lives are lost. Some of them end up seeking out drugs to numb the emotional pain. This in turn fuels crime to get money for drugs, and you can see where this goes. People can end up hurting other people emotionally because they want to feel it is all better than feeling nothing. Or people can just "give up," and that's bad too for obvious reasons, the least of which might be an invitation for mental illness to set in.

I have few friends, but among the males I'm noticing growing despair, and I'm not quite sure what I can do about it. They are in their thirties and forties (no names will be given here), but I think my small slice of life may be indicative to something that's growing in this country. In other words, I'm saying that there are a lot of embittered, lonely, and poor (having failed to reach certain monetary goals at certain stages of life) men who are staring at a future that's looking bleaker every day. A lot of them drown themselves in video games, because they'd rather live in that alternate world where work equates instant accomplishment than face down the demons in this world (which are much harder to spot and slay). Others hang out on "Red Pill" reddit or post angry messages on Facebook.

If only good versus evil was real. Then maybe some of these men would snap out of it and start contributing to society. Maybe some of them would find value in themselves.

If only.

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's not Easter but that isn't going to stop me from loading up on all the Easter eggs for Cars 3.

I'm seeing Cars 3 on Thursday. That's a given. To make it even more fun, I'm going to be hunting for all the Easter eggs that I know to look for that are famously peppered in Pixar movies. An Easter egg (if you don't know) as an intentional inside visual joke slipped into the background by the animators. The term was first used to describe a hidden message in the Atari video game "Adventure." I'm betting a few of these will be visible:

A113: This pays homage to a classroom at CalArts, the alma mater of Pixar/Disney executive John Lasseter and director Brad Bird. You can bet it will be on a license plate or somewhere else in the film at some point. I've actually heard that it is on a press sticker this time around for a "Shannon Spokes."

Pizza Planet: This is a fictional pizza restaurant that appears in Toy Story.

Dinoco: This is a fictional oil company that first appeared in Toy Story. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see a not to The Good Dinosaur or Arlo.

Plays on words like "Buzz Lightyear" or other such characters: In Cars, the tires of all the Piston Cup racers are Lightyear Buzzard tires. I expect Pixar to make some kind of reference to its other films through a play on words.

Buy N Large (BnL): This is a mega corporation that first appeared in WALL-E that controlled all economic and government services on Earth.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I'm totally buying the homonculus theory about the Cars universe.

I rewatched Cars on Thursday night with my buddy Brad. We did that after I cooked dinner, which consisted of lamb chops in an anchovy and caper sauce and paired with saffron-infused carrots and potatoes (whipped together) with butter and cream. The sauce made an excellent gravy by the way. We also had corn on the cob and the wine was a red Berringer. I didn't take any pictures but trust me, it looked awesome.

The reason we watched Cars is because Cars 3 is coming out next week and Brad said he hadn't seen Cars, so it was hard to get excited about it. Cars really piqued my curiosity when I came across a guy online that was obsessed with figuring out what exactly is going on in the Cars world. To be honest, I've kind of gotten to be a believer of the whole "homonculus theory," which you can read about HERE.

I'll just summarize it for you quickly. Basically, everything about the Cars world can be explained by one thing: the humans in this human-less world are actually installed inside the Cars, kinda similar to a H.R. Giger Biomechanics nightmare.
See, something happened to all the humans. Otherwise there's no logical explanation as to why everything is designed for humans to use them. Why have handles, doors, mirrors? Why have languages that match up to human languages? It's all because the cars actually have people inside of them. Even the windshields that are eyes make sense because it would be a visor projecting the human eyes onto the glass.

Creepy, right?

There's plenty of evidence online (and Pixar has even admitted) that all of their movies share the same universe. Cars has to take place at some point in a strange future when all of the humans have achieved a kind of immortality by being bio-engineered into machines. Anyway, knowing and accepting the theory proposed on Jalopnik in no way lessens my enjoyment of the shows. But it does give a new perspective for me to consider when talking with parents about the movie. After all, I don't think many people realize that Cars is a post-apocalyptic dystopia where humans are forced to live inside machines forever.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The June question for the Insecure Writer's Support Group is all about quitting.

Well, another month has passed, and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. If you've never heard of it, you can go HERE to sign-up.

This month's question is:

"Did you ever say 'I quit'? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?"

At first I was going to answer "no" to this question, but I realized it wouldn't be true. In high school, I wrote a novella for a creative writing class on a typewriter of all things, and it was a pretty draining project. It also ended up being pretty poor. I pressed what few friends I had (back in the day I was not a popular kid) to read it, and I could tell it wasn't good from their reactions (although they tried to find positive things to say about it). Anyway, it was an exhausting thing to produce, and I was glad it was done. I pretty much quit after that for many years.

I'm not sure what brought me back to writing, or if it was any one thing. I remember the night I started tapping away at keys. I'd bought a new computer, and I'd been playing a lot of World of Warcraft on it. It was a warm summer night and I was sipping a cool drink by an open screen door. And I just wanted to write about something. I wanted to use this computer I'd bought for something more than video games. It doesn't sound very glamorous at all. There really wasn't any big revelation or anything like that. It was just more of a "want" to use some equipment that I'd invested a thousand bucks in for more than just entertainment.

I suppose that once a writer always a writer. We probably all share that bug in us, some obviously more than others.

Monday, June 5, 2017

These are my favorite poster posse tributes to Wonder Woman which slayed at the box office this weekend.

Poster Posse celebrated the Princess of Themyscira by releasing a bunch of really cool posters that were all about Wonder Woman. Below are my favorite, but you should totally peruse the collection.
This one's done by Chris Malbon, and it just looks awesome.
This one is done by artist Daniel Nash. I love how the ruins of war spell out the Wonder Woman logo.

Not bad for the 9th largest opening weekend for a movie that isn't a sequel or a spin-off, right? For those of you who've seen the movie and now want to get into reading Wonder Woman comics, may I recommend:
Wonder Woman by George Perez volume 1 (This is Diana's post-Crisis reboot and from which the movie borrowed quite a lot). 
The Legend of Wonder Woman (a retelling of her origin set during World War II).
Wonder Woman Rebirth Volume 1: The Lies and Volume 2: Year One.
All of these can be found on Amazon :) See you Wednesday for Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman was the best comic book movie I've seen since the original Avengers

Spoiler Alert: I'm going to talk about the movie, which I saw last night with best friend Brad Habegger.

First off, if you are going to see Wonder Woman, you really should shell out the extra bucks for IMAX 3D. It's worth every penny. There's lots of zinging bullets, arrows, and incredible shows of strength that 3D is meant to carry.

Second, it was hard to pick any one scene that was good, as they were all incredibly high quality. The story by Zach Snyder was tight, and the director, Patty Jenkins, did an amazing job putting the story arc down and giving us a reason for Gal Gadot's superhero to have a bitter taste about mankind.

The story begins on the island of Themyscira, which is showcased beautifully by an island location that looks straight out of a Mediterranean paradise. Hidden from the world by magic, we are introduced slowly to the character of Diana, who (like her Roman namesake) is a goddess in her own right. But we all kind of knew that, because how else could you ever explain Wonder Woman's powers and not make her a goddess? She (rightfully) is as powerful as you'd expect any immortal being to be.

However, the origin story is not without its faults. One of the things that Brad pointed out to me was that (for DC) the Greek mythology and the gods are now canon, the same as the Norse mythology did for Marvel in Thor. This bugs him because it puts that particular religion on a pedestal and makes it more "correct." Begrudgingly, I agree with him. But, if it weren't for the strong mythological background, I'd argue that Wonder Woman wouldn't be nearly as famous as she is. People like it when superheroes have powers that can be "explained" within the framework of human knowledge. They also like it when the costume has meaning, instead of just some red spandex. With Wonder Woman, her braces are an echo of enslavement, her headband is a nod to their greatest warrior, and her belt is a nod to the belt of Hercules.

All of these things have meaning, which just serve to make her more of an icon.


1) I missed seeing Wonder Woman flying around in her invisible jet. I've heard that they are already planning a sequel that will take place as another "period" film (probably this time against nazi's in WWII). Maybe we'll see it then.

2) I loved that they showed Wonder Woman flying. In the comics, she's always flown around (sometimes with great magical golden wings). It's about time that they embraced that dynamic instead of just showing her jumping really far.

3) I like that they established she was a goddess. In the comics, Wonder Woman becomes the new god of war. So this seemed to be a great fit with the written material.

4) I never get tired of the lasso of truth. I love how it glows gold and seems to respond to her thoughts.

5) I was disappointed that the "god slayer" sword was just a sword, albeit a well crafted one capable of sundering pillars. I was kind of hoping for some awesome magical sword that she could cut Superman with in Justice League.