Wonder Woman 1984 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984.

Story

It’s very much a DC Comics movie, lots of angst, lots of grim-dark, and very little humour. There are only two characters that show any form of compassion or common sense. Wonder Woman seems to now care about as much about collateral damage as Superman and goes out of her way to confront the villain at the worst possible time only to give us an action sequence.

A lot of movies set in the 1980’s have a nostalgic sheen. There’s no nostalgia here, more of a deep loathing. The movie spends a lot of time setting up how greedy and hateful humanity is and how even those who know they are hurting others don’t care. It makes the ending feel cheap and un-earned.

The movie recycles tropes from other superhero movies from the “evil oil guy” to “nerd with glasses feels entitled and goes evil” and doesn’t add anything new to them.

The ethical issues of her boning some dude who’s possessed by her ex made me uncomfortable the entire movie.

Score: 0

Characters

I have a hard time with Diana’s obsession with Steve. He’s handsome and he was a genuinely awesome guy. But she was pining (pun intended) for 70 years? It feels like a stretch.

I really find the body possession to be one of the worst ethical issues. She played dress-up with a possessed body and did other things. She effectively raped a man. Yuck.

Steve was posted in London during the First World War. He has seen a subway before. He’s seen a garbage can before. Other than to mock modern art, why would he not be able to tell a garbage can from art but somehow be able to fly a fighter jet? When he was alive, they didn’t even have cabin pressure, but now he just feels how to fly?

The villain was a Trump stand-in with a child, so you know he’ll be redeemed in the end by his love for his kid. It’s so cliché as to be insulting. Especially to those of us who grew up in “broken homes”.

Selena, Willow, Harley, uhm… Barbara is the typical super-nerd who people ignore for some reason. She’s a female Daniel Jackson without the allergies or alien theories. I’m not sure if she’s a male wank fantasy or just a power fantasy. It’s an old trope that hasn’t gotten any more interesting or less insulting.

Score: 0

Dialogue

Other than some over explanations and condescensions, the dialogue was okay. Steve was funny and loveable and the rest was meh.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

We had some technical issues with the streaming service so we didn’t get this in full 4K and the music was stuck in stereo instead of full 5.1 surround.

That being said, the beginning on the island was spectacular. I wasn’t a fan of the filter they used for the 80’s faux look but overall it was a beautiful movie. The CGI on Cheetah was pretty bad though.

The music was fantastic. It elevated certain scenes that could not hold up otherwise. I was disappointed we never heard the full Wonder Woman theme.

Score: 1

Fun

The beginning of the movie and the end credit scene were awesome. There were some interesting bits in the middle but overall it was a little boring. Neither of my kids sat still for it.

Score: 0.5

Overall

All the grim-dark expected from a DC movie. The non-redeemable set of villains that are magically redeemed with a pretty speech. The action set pieces seem overly destructive and add nothing to the plot. The glossed over possession and rape is played as cute and romantic instead of horrifying. Overall, this movie gets lost in it’s hate for the 80’s and humanity and forgets to get to a point.

Final Score: 2 stars out of 5

Stargirl – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Stargirl.

Story

I fell like a dictionary of bad tropes gained sentience and wrote this movie. It at times tries too hard to be deep, quirky, and G rated edgy.

This is the kind of story that suburban people think happens in a small town.

If I were in my early teens I might have enjoyed this more but only because I didn’t understand the overdone and trite themes and naratives.

Score: 0

Characters

There’s a lot of tropes not many characters. The boring white guy who’s scared of being different, the manic pixie dreamgirl, the wise black mentor, the too busy to pay attention single mom, the ethnic best friend, the caring yet aloof teacher, the friend who’s pudgy and eats a lot, and the dead father.

There are tiny moments where the characters are permitted to not just play a bad caricature but it’s fleeting.

The actors do what they can with what they have but there’s just not enough in the script. The main white dude is creepy, stalkerish, and just plain boring. The MPDG is literally turned into a magic legend that saves the town. I spent the first 40 minutes wondering if he was going to kill her or if she was going to kill them.

Score: 0

Dialogue

The MPDG wins a speech competition by taking off her shoes and giving an impassioned speech about how our society only reacts because it’s so fast. It’s the kind of thing an Anti-vaxxer would write on Facebook after reading too much Shelley, Byron, and Wordsworth; while missing their points completely.

The rest of the movie’s dialogue alternates between awkward, false sounding, teen speak, and pseudo-spiritual bullshit.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

Because nothing happens in this town and it’s all super boring, the entire movie, except for scenes with Stargirl and the ending, are brown filtered. It makes it visuals boring. Combined with an attempt at edgy documentary-style handheld filming, it makes the audience want to look away.

The music was cute and almost made me want to care.

Score: 0.5

Fun

As someone who enjoys musicals, dance movies, teen drama, and pseudo-mystical stories… this was so watered down and stereotyped that I wonder if it was written by a bot that had watched a thousand hours of teen dramas.

Score: 0

Overall

This is the kind of story and movie that is lauded by critics for it’s non-conformity because it’s cute and non-threatening. In 2020, we should be beyond this disturbingly white, cis, male and passively racist, homophobic, and sexist narratives aimed at children.

Final Score: 0.5 Star

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The song Baby It’s Cold Outside is downright creepy in modern days. I’m going to give the song the benefit of the doubt and assume it was written as a cute flirty song for the Holidays.

Recently the signer and songwriter duo Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski re-wrote the song to be less creepy and all about consent. As much as I applaud their enthusiasm, as a tool to teach consent it’s great, but it’s both a little awkward and really pushy as a message. That pushiness losses the original cute flirty feel of the song.

cold

With small changes, the song can be fun without being creepy. The first thing to do is change who’s saying what. The structure of the song has a person who wants to leave and another who doesn’t want them to leave. It’s called a Mouse and Wolf Structure.

Switch the lines so that the Mouse is the Wolf and you suddenly have a much flirty-er song.

Original

Mouse: I really can’t stay
Wolf: Baby it’s cold outside
Mouse: I’ve got to go away
Wolf: Baby it’s cold out there
Mouse: This evening has been
Wolf: Been hoping that you’d drop in
Mouse: So very nice
Wolf: I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

My Edit

Mouse: You really can’t stay
Wolf: Baby it’s cold outside
Mouse: You’ve got to go away
Wolf: Baby it’s cold out there
Mouse: This evening has been
Wolf: Been hoping that I’d drop in?
Mouse: So very nice
Wolf: I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

It’s a little pushy but not as creepy since it comes off as the Wolf not wanting the leave and the Mouse teasing them about it. Lines like the below go from “I’m trying to escape” to teasing.

Original

Mouse: My mother will start to worry
Wolf: Beautiful, what’s your hurry?

My Edit

Mouse: Your mother will start to worry
Wolf: Beautiful, what’s your hurry?

Besides the slight reversal of roles I’d also add a line after, “What’s in this drink” that says, “Marshmallows, you’re driving.” and change Cigarettes to Episodes.

 

What do you think? Would this make the song fun again without feeling dirty or should we just retire this one as a holiday song?

Éric