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WW - Spoiler Thread - Read if you want spoilers

12 Jun 2017 20:15 #54699 by shadar

TwiceOnThursdays wrote:

shadar wrote: After hearing someone on Fox claiming that Wonder Woman sucked because she didn't have enough American stars on her costume, I decided to take a journey down the left-hand fork of Wingnut Highway to see if I could find a review that was also unintentionally funny on the other side.

I found a doozy. The Wonder Woman is Propaganda. review. Written by a millennial feminist woman who writes with great skill, it's a display of the kind of absurd distortions that come when you see everything through ideologically tinted glasses -- in this case, very thick ones. But it does rank high in my Unintentionally Funny rankings, so I've decided to share it.

I seriously doubt if ANYONE on SWM shared ANY of this reviewer's thoughts during the movie, which makes it all the more unintentionally hilarious. Enjoy.

newrepublic.com/article/143100/wonder-woman-propaganda

Shadar


It's like I got what she was saying, but I feel there was a river of assumed viewpoint that she just assumed I agreed with.


That river is called Ideology. But talk about overthinking the issue. WW's a comic book character. As in fantasy. And while music, school, movies, TV, books, everything shapes future generations, WW the Movie wasn't created to be the propaganda vehicle for children that this author claims.

Which is why the review is a hilarious addition to my Wingnut library. Although the author would surely hate me for saying that.

Kind of reminds me of an internet award I was nominated for (AU writing) about twenty years. Some kind of Unintentionally Funny award. I did not appreciate it at the time, but my award nomination was written in ways that this piece reminds me of.

People either need to ease up on the coffee or smoke more weed, whatever works for them. As I get older, I realize that fewer and fewer things have earth-shaking significance as the world spins in circles, repeating past mistakes with new enthusiasm. over and over. It's more fun to enjoy the ride than to take everything so seriously.

Shadar

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12 Jun 2017 21:35 #54704 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic WW - Spoiler Thread - Read if you want spoilers
I am pretty sure that article was pre written and the movie scenes were spliced in later.
The author had an agenda and stuck with it.

The only movie she would have liked is the one where Diana killed the men on both sides.

Sort of like Gen. Ludendorf's plan.

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12 Jun 2017 22:57 #54706 by shadar

Markiehoe wrote: I am pretty sure that article was pre written and the movie scenes were spliced in later.
The author had an agenda and stuck with it.

The only movie she would have liked is the one where Diana killed the men on both sides.

Sort of like Gen. Ludendorf's plan.



Agreed... her ideologically-tinted glasses were too dark for her to see through in any case.

She kept coming back to the "giantess" theme, which I frankly didn't get. Maybe the author is 4'10" and Gal was a giant in her eyes.

I've met a 5'11" supermodel wearing heels (Danielle Pestova!!) and she did look very tall and superhumanly attractive, but I was standing in a concert lobby in Singapore (Elton John concert) and her blonde head and mine were the only ones sticking above the short, raven-haired crowd. She had her back to a stone column like she was holding the building up. But any thought of her being a "giantess" was swamped by the humming of my own internal machinery, such as it was. I'd already used her image to illustrate a few stories by that time.

To the author's point about how the movie was propaganda for children, I can only hope so -- if it inclines them to want to see more superheroine "giantesses" on screen. Yes indeed.

Anyway, great fun to read a review from someone so far up Wingnut Alley that they can't even see the movie in front of them. Doesn't matter if they're politically left or right, wingnuts are my favorite form of comedic humor these days.

Shadar
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13 Jun 2017 14:52 #54727 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic WW - Spoiler Thread - Read if you want spoilers
^ AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Wait, let me say that again.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yeah I didn't make it to the end either LOL

Some ppl just need to get the *bleep* off the planet. They are taking up valuable air.

Peace.

/K
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14 Jun 2017 16:56 #54775 by fats
Hi all,

I've deleted all posts that I feel is not keeping to the topic. I've never had to do this to this level but I needed to do this as the posts links where inflammatory and has no place here. I have no problems with people commenting on the film, but I have to draw it at line where people can and have been distressed by what is posted, this is the only reason why I intervened in this thread I got pm's and IM's expressing distress at the political nature of the posts, so I had to act.

Some people will be unhappy with what I did, believe me not as much as I am.

Please keep comments about the film and let's try to keep politics (especially politics of the era) out of the thread.

Fats
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14 Jun 2017 17:03 #54776 by Woodclaw

fats wrote: Hi all,

I've deleted all posts that I feel is not keeping to the topic. I've never had to do this to this level but I needed to do this as the posts links where inflammatory and has no place here. I have no problems with people commenting on the film, but I have to draw it at line where people can and have been distressed by what is posted, this is the only reason why I intervened in this thread I got pm's and IM's expressing distress at the political nature of the posts, so I had to act.

Some people will be unhappy with what I did, believe me not as much as I am.

Please keep comments about the film and let's try to keep politics (especially politics of the era) out of the thread.

Fats


I'd like to add one more thing: I know that it's difficult to keep politics out of the way because many of our choices and tastes are based on our political and social background, but this community is based on a shared interest and passion. This movie is seen by many as a political statement, but that's not what we as SWManiacs are looking for, so can we, please, concentrate on what we liked and we disliked on the movie itself, not it supposed "social value". Otherwise I think we are all due for a long golden lasso based re-education class ;)

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14 Jun 2017 17:48 #54779 by shadar
I have no problem with shutting things down, but there was no attempt to politicize SWM. This was based on showing examples of how wingnuts can take a fictional heroine and twist them to their own agenda.

I used to know someone who worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center, and his job was to dig out this wingnut stuff out of the dark net and expose it. He had to quit. It was too ugly.

But this was just a comic book movie. I was personally shocked by how far the wingnuts went on the normal Net.

I've always believed that if someone like WW ever actually appeared, then the public response would be extreme and varied, and much of it would not be appreciative and some would be violent. I think that is germane to our genre, and has been explored by several genre books. But the authors didn't go far enough. I now know that reality is worse.

Anyway, we don't need to prove this again. Those posts can happily disappear. Journeying into wingnut territory was a pretty scary ride.

Shadar

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20 Jun 2017 03:59 - 20 Jun 2017 05:49 #54893 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
I finally had a chance to take in a showing of Wonder Woman on the cheap day here at the local cinema.

Full disclosure: I like female superheroes. I do not like Wonder Woman. I find her badly constructed, badly used in the larger universe, and in most cases badly written. The creator and I were never going to be friends because I find his 'philosophy' essentially vile - thankfully every writer since has largely ignored it. She consistently draws DC's second string writers and it shows. While a few have used that as a launch pad to become well know and beloved storytellers, that's NOT why they were put on the book. Her rogues gallery is abysmal - to the point where you get an automatic geeky gold star if you can name more than three of her main, recurring villains. And heck, even I only know Silver Swan because of my own unique proclivities ;).

WARNING: ALL the spoilers ahead.

Ok, young Diana is adorable. Totally. And life on Themyscira was well framed. Loved the story book as framing device. The version of Themyscira I'm familiar with has them more technologically advanced than the world of Men in some respects and I thought the moving picture book was in keeping with my expectations for Paradise Island. Points awarded for NOT resorting to opening narration. Well done, Wonder Woman, you've already stomped that awful Green Lantern movie.

It did immediately trip my "Huh...?" reflex that Zeus died creating the island. A little itch that was eventually scratched "Then how was Diana born after they came to the island. Zeus is dead..."

I enjoyed every amazon's performance - to the point that I tend to think every one of them out-acted Gal Gadot. Some fabulous emoting and facial expressions there. Love me that non-verbal communication. Bonus points for Hippolyta not losing her shit when her most trusted second pretty much tells her "You're wrong" to her face. A truly strong ruler, that one.

Things move along and Captain Steve Trevor thwarts a few thousand years of perfect stealth with the power of his "above average" babe radar :). I thought the musical cues for pulling him to the surface and swimming off to shore with him were jarring and way over blown. Kicked me right out of watching the movie to seeing the director trying to herd the audience along. Star Wars Episode III was an example of that kind of musical horsewhipping. This thankfully was pretty brief.

We segue into what was probably the highlight of the movie for me: everybody but Gal Gadot fighting ;). Ok, she does get into it a little at the end. This was all kinds of combat choreography and I loved it. Culminating in the best character in the movie so far croaking, setting in motion dramatic destiny. Awesome. I'm totally on board. Lets do some Epic Drama!

More absolutely lovely scenery porn of the island. Fun with the lasso. Some touching introductions, a bit of Assassin's Creed with sledgehammers, and Hippolyta written as more than a sobbing mother. Refreshing. I could cheerfully do without another Wonder Woman movie, but man, I'd be there full-pop ticket in hand opening day for a DC Amazons movie :D. We come out of the first Act on track for amazing. Almost as good as the hype even. And in case anyone's forgotten, the first name on the screenplay is Zach Snyder.

Welcome to Act II and jolly old England. It's not for everybody. Etta Candy was a firecracker and a scene stealer, pretty much sealing the deal that every actress out-acted the Title Character... but then again, they're supposed to be more human I suppose. Or it could be I don't find arrogant,ignorant juveniles that compelling ;). I am going to echo some sentiments I've heard from others that this is about the most sanitized visit to World War One I've ever seen, almost as if they were shooting for a strict PG rating and not even PG 13. Stuffy old men (ha ha, no really, how could they not all be idiots in this movie?), seedy bar with disreputable heroes, a daring plan in defiance of the authorities. It's like I'm back in Rogue One :). Oh and a kindly patron who makes it all possible with a thick envelope full of cash. Because there's a wizard in every bar handing out quests, right? Right? Yes, it's textbook, but I thought it was charming and was fully entertained.

I will say the ice cream scene didn't work for me. It felt shoehorned in with stuttering, choppy timing. While I appreciate the nod to some of the better WW writing that has gone before, it felt like a check box rather than honest homage to me. ((shrug)) It worked for some people. So be it.

Act III: The War's This Way. Another nice scene around the campfire, bringing us up to speed on our curiously growing cast. More sterile war scenery. Ah, the trenches at last. Alright. Here it is. That big scene everyone tells me is so amazing... here it comes! I've had some time to get used to the idea that I'm not seeing the same movie as most people. For example, I honestly adore Suicide Squad and some of the most pitch-perfect emotional bonding amongst sociopaths I've ever seen on the big screen. I evidently don't look for the same things as a lot of people. I'm just gonna say it:

Meh.

I don't think I was any older than 10 when I worked out "blocking bullets with your bracelets is a stupid power." It entirely relies on your enemies being DUMBER THAN YOU ARE.

So, her triumphant march starts with... her shield on her back and her in a the weirdest, most inappropriately feminine strut in the whole movie. Slo-mo - naturally - in case you need more time eat that cheesecake. The scene literally exists to shout "Here's your chance, boys. Strip me naked with your eyes." Weird. And from there it feels like the writers basically know her bullet blocking powers are completely inadequate to the tasks of a 'modern' battlefield so they throw her in the deep end. I'm sorry, I don't believe a couple of German gunners with machine guns could keep their grouping inside the radius of that shield IF THEY TRIED TO. The first Act went out of its way to show us she bleeds when shot. Now, points for showing a few bullets sparking off her greaves, and she does eventually crouch down to finally obstruct the German's view of those sweet bare thighs. But this is pretty much the exact scenario where Wonder Woman's hubris should net her a harsh lesson in picking your battles instead of her free pass to glory. It's like the writers wanted to rub my nose in it.

From there we move onto block-to-block fight with a little more tooth and substance. I liked pretty much every shot, although the slo-mo mimicry of 300 did not enhance my experience. I did find myself thinking "Hell yeah I'll play this videogame when it comes out." That tank toss was satisfying but strangely underplayed. That lasso work screamed "mash the triangle button three times" to me :D. All the effort in act I to build a Amazonian kinesthetic combat vocabulary really paid off here. Culminating in Captain Trevor calling out "Shield!" Like he was paying attention or something.

Victory. Carousing. WW gets some. ...And at that point you know Steve Trevor's pretty much a deader. Because at the meta-plot level there's just zero chance Wonder Woman's going to be presented in any way that keeps the nerd community from thinking of her as an ideal waifu. Honestly that's my biggest gripe with setting it in World War One: they went out of their way to make she doesn't build a supporting cast in the present day. Certainly not any romantic entanglements. I find this handing of the character... cowardly.

Act IV This Rollercoaster Only Goes Down. From little jagged edges in the cutting, I have to think this part must have had some epic combat going on... in the editing room. There's a scene with Steve staring at a servant setting out chairs for a outdoor viewing. Chekov's Gun says there was another scene there. But it's gone in the final cut. I also don't even get Steve's thick German accent... we haven't had to be pelted with that from the actual Germans speaking German up to that point. We're also given another chance to see that Elena Anaya is criminally underused in this movie (and securing the shutout for WW's female cast vs. the lead ;)).

Horrors ensue. We get a short, not terribly impressive fight, darkness falls so the CG animators don't have to work so hard. Faith is tested. A sword driven completely through a man is mysteriously completely free of dripping blood. Ares appears... Hi old Brit tavern wizard!

WTF.

Ok, I'd been spoilered, so maybe this was more surprising for some, but again: WTF. Absolutely NOTHING is gained from tying these two characters together. Its the kind of pointless literary cleverness that isn't clever at all. The actor was fine as the Brit but he was absolutely silly as the God of War. He looked preposterous in the broken armor after getting smote by Zeus. People complain about the CGFX at this point - I tend to think its preferable to having to look at his face :).

I actually liked Ares' power set: the telekinesis along with assembling crude armor, jagged swords, spiked chains and wicked javelins from the detritus of war feels pretty visually coherent and fitting to the character. The actor won't shut up, but I'm trying to tune him out with the explosions anyway.

Battle-battle. Menace-menace. Explosions! Ooo, our protagonist is in trouble! The music swells....

Then they fucking Whedon Formula their way out.



Sorry, this trope is already tired. Put it to bed. With an axe between the eyes. You're not actually saying anything good about women's power with this crap.

Battle-battle. Easy win now that I have the Power of Love. Touching moments. Return to the present. Pave the way for the next movie. All the blockbuster boxes checked off and overall a good time was had.

Then a final "I don't know what the hell that was" visual flourish as she leaps into the air over Paris. Maybe it's supposed to be her finally returning to armored/costumed presence? Because I think she's been a ghost for nearly 100 years.

Had fun. Will likely buy on disk. Will favorably recommend to friends, while urging modest expectations. Entirely ready to watch Marvel Studios kick its ass with Captain Marvel.

And sign me up for a DCMU Amazons movie. That, I want to see! :)

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Last edit: 20 Jun 2017 05:49 by AuGoose.
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20 Jun 2017 05:01 #54894 by d_k_c
Replied by d_k_c on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
Blasphemy! Say 10 our Fathers, 1000 Hail Mary's and all shall be forgiven
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20 Jun 2017 05:34 #54895 by LustMonster
Replied by LustMonster on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

d_k_c wrote: Blasphemy! Say 10 our Fathers, 1000 Hail Mary's and all shall be forgiven


I've got this image in my head now of an ubergirl sitting in a confessional, grinning wickedly as she confesses to the crunchy smashy fun she just had...

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20 Jun 2017 08:50 #54896 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

AuGoose wrote: I finally had a chance to take in a showing of Wonder Woman on the cheap day here at the local cinema.

Full disclosure: I like female superheroes. I do not like Wonder Woman. I find her badly constructed, badly used in the larger universe, and in most cases badly written. The creator and I were never going to be friends because I find his 'philosophy' essentially vile - thankfully every writer since has largely ignored it. She consistently draws DC's second string writers and it shows. While a few have used that as a launch pad to become well know and beloved storytellers, that's NOT why they were put on the book. Her rogues gallery is abysmal - to the point where you get an automatic geeky gold star if you can name more than three of her main, recurring villains. And heck, even I only know Silver Swan because of my own unique proclivities ;).


Cheetah? Circe? Dr. Psycho? (Second String; giganta) Misc Olympian Gods (Ares, etc). I get a geeky gold star? Admittedly it's not that great of a Rouges Gallery, but it's not like there isn't one. I'd agrue that Cheetah and Circe are first class (as are the Olympian Gods if used right)

I think we'll disagree on the writers Post-Perez. Perez wasn't known as a writer when he asked for WW, so you're right about him (though he asked for the job). But Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, JMS, John Byrne, and Greg Rucka were. (Admittedly this was Gail right before Birds of Prey, but she'd still written for some major books before WW and she DID want the job). That's a large hunk of Wonder Woman post-perez done by skilled writers who wanted to be on the book. I totally agree with what you said BEFORE Perez. (Just heard James Robinson is going to write the book now. Also, we should keep Grant Morrison FAR AWAY from Wonder Woman.)

AuGoose wrote:
So, her triumphant march starts with... her shield on her back and her in a the weirdest, most inappropriately feminine strut in the whole movie. Slo-mo - naturally - in case you need more time eat that cheesecake. The scene literally exists to shout "Here's your chance, boys. Strip me naked with your eyes." Weird. And from there it feels like the writers basically know her bullet blocking powers are completely inadequate to the tasks of a 'modern' battlefield so they throw her in the deep end. I'm sorry, I don't believe a couple of German gunners with machine guns could keep their grouping inside the radius of that shield IF THEY TRIED TO. The first Act went out of its way to show us she bleeds when shot. Now, points for showing a few bullets sparking off her greaves, and she does eventually crouch down to finally obstruct the German's view of those sweet bare thighs. But this is pretty much the exact scenario where Wonder Woman's hubris should net her a harsh lesson in picking your battles instead of her free pass to glory. It's like the writers wanted to rub my nose in it.

From there we move onto block-to-block fight with a little more tooth and substance. I liked pretty much every shot, although the slo-mo mimicry of 300 did not enhance my experience. I did find myself thinking "Hell yeah I'll play this videogame when it comes out." That tank toss was satisfying but strangely underplayed. That lasso work screamed "mash the triangle button three times" to me :D. All the effort in act I to build a Amazonian kinesthetic combat vocabulary really paid off here. Culminating in Captain Trevor calling out "Shield!" Like he was paying attention or something.


I take the entire thing as one sequence, it's not just going over the top until she hits the trench, it's the ENTIRE battle til the sniper tower at the end. I didn't spend too much time critiquing the beginning. I do think you weren't served by reading/hearing about this beforehand. You hyperfocused on the first part, and found it ... not super-amazing-wonderful, which is how it was billed to you so you find it overall, meh. (This is why I try to see movies the first night.)

I do think that a bit more on her being pinned down and it being a bad spot would have been good, and then having the save from Trevor's team as a bigger thing. Maybe she gets winged by a bullet or something. Im ean they DO save her ass in the movie, but I don't think the movie really spelled that out too much. A bit more highlighting that it was a really brash move would have been a good point (she's not perfect).

AuGoose wrote:
Horrors ensue. We get a short, not terribly impressive fight, darkness falls so the CG animators don't have to work so hard. Faith is tested. A sword driven completely through a man is mysteriously completely free of dripping blood. Ares appears... Hi old Brit tavern wizard!

WTF.

Ok, I'd been spoilered, so maybe this was more surprising for some, but again: WTF. Absolutely NOTHING is gained from tying these two characters together. Its the kind of pointless literary cleverness that isn't clever at all. The actor was fine as the Brit but he was absolutely silly as the God of War. He looked preposterous in the broken armor after getting smote by Zeus. People complain about the CGFX at this point - I tend to think its preferable to having to look at his face :).


Maybe being spoilered didn't help you?

I pegged him as Ares from the beginning (I had some side money out on him maybe just being a pawn). It seemed pretty well established and telegraphed. I never saw "wizard funding mission" I saw "bad guy maniuplating events" down to him letting them use his office. I didn't go in having this given to me, but I picked it out of the flow of the movie, so when it happened it was confirmation that I was noticing what was going on. Was this a surprise to anyone?

I thought he was GREAT as Ares ... up until the moment he begame God-Ares in flash backs and the fight. Then it looked silly. They should have changed his face (and probably his voice). After all his father impregnated women as a swan! Certainly Ares can look/sound like someone else? In the comics you don't often see Ares face (just his eyes), they probably should have went with that. And either heavily modulated the actors voice OR gotten a new voice actor.

AuGoose wrote: Then they fucking Whedon Formula their way out.

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Sorry, this trope is already tired. Put it to bed. With an axe between the eyes. You're not actually saying anything good about women's power with this reverse "euthanized damsel" crap.


(Sorry this set me off, mostly because the example of River, I re-read this and it's half rant, but, meh, I'm going to let it stand, I'll just apologize for being over the top.)

The general trope of "kill the significant other/parents to movitvate the hero" is ancient. This is also a generic action movie trope too. Hell, it's even in John Wick (they use a Dog instead.) I think singling it out in female hero movies like it's something that only happens there is pretty lame. But we're in agreement that writers should stay far away from the trope.

I'd also argue that Trevor's death has a different tone, it wasn't the bad guy killing him, an accident, imposed on him, or spur of the moment heroism, it was a plan to solve a problem that he didn't have time to find another solution (he wouldn't risk the plane crashing and kiling even German civilians). In other words, unlike most dead-loved-ones, Trevor chose his death, and it served a purpose to him other than just motivating WW (even though it did that).

Also whoever made that meme needs to watch Serenity again. River's rampage didn't have anything directlly to do with Wash's death. She sat through the initial firefight after Wash's death huddled in the corner.

She went on her rampage to save her friends who were all going to die. Kaylee and Simon were going to die w/o access to Simon's med-pack. If the door wasn't closed (from the enemy side), they'd be overrun and Zoe and Jayne would die too. She then decided that she would protect Simon, instead of Simon protecting her. She went on a rampage to ensure her LIVING friends (family) STAYED THAT WAY. If the meme used Simon it'd have been closer (he'd just been shot), but still wrong. She only started moving and overcame the psychic noise in her head from the reavers when she realized she could SAVE everyone (and only she could do it). NOT just by people dying/getting hurt, though that of course did spur the need for saving... in any event, she's NOT motivated by "a dead male".

There are a lot of counter examples like that too, the meme was just bad enough to provide an excellent one where it's dead wrong. There are plenty of women kicking ass w/o a man dying. (Black Widow, Resident Evil, Underworld (has a bit of that too though), Dark Phoenix, etc)

I'm not saying "dead person motivation" isn't used in female action movies. I just don't think it's overused compared it it's use in male action movies. Let's review the male movie super-heroes that fit: (threat of death/death spurs a fight/determination/rampage) Batman (Dark Knight, BvS), Superman (1978, BvS), Spider-Man (Gwen), Iron Man (civil War, parents, hell he's not on a rampage, he's unhinged), Black Panther (civil war), Thor (mother killed), The Losers (DC Vertigo movie), the Kingsman, Sin City.... (etc)

The trope IS over-used. I'm just taking issue with both the image (i.e. River) and the implication that it's just over-used in female super-hero movies.

AuGoose wrote: Had fun. Will likely buy on disk. Will favorably recommend to friends, while urging modest expectations. Entirely ready to watch Marvel Studios kick its ass with Captain Marvel.

And sign me up for a DCMU Amazons movie. That, I want to see! :)


Oh, fuck yeah. An Amazons movie woudl be great. I think they feature in a giant battle in Justice League. But frankly if it's a CGI fest like the end fight in WW, MoS and BvS, it won't be the same.

I am trained to trust/like Marvel movies so I suspect I'll think Captain Marvel is fantastic ...but I'm also cautious and trying to not think about it as a done deal. Marvel isn't perfect either. I walk out of a few of them having really enjoyed myself, but with a bit of "meh". Like GotG 2. I had TONS of fun, but it's not like I didn't see most of the jokes, plot points coming from a Loooooong Way away. Ride was still hella fun.

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20 Jun 2017 12:57 - 20 Jun 2017 13:22 #54898 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
You undoubtedly get a geeky gold star for Doctor Psycho :).

Yes, her own permanent series has seen some talent try to come in and tidy up the place. Personally I liked the JMS reboot aside from a few iffy costuming choices. It gave us the first really modern WW villain in ages before the whole attempt was boo'd off the stage. We got a Blackwater-style torturer-for-hire burned alive by Amazons and seemingly plucked back from the edge of death by Ares. That dude was alarming!

I really don't take "no man'd land" to include "and the village beyond it." Its a totally different tempo and shifts from one man band to ensemble. It also stops relying on "could the 50 of you all keep shooting me in the one place I can't be hurt? Thanks!"

The Ares spoiler didn't matter. From the movie viewer perspective the German general was never a plausible candidate to be Ares (though he does go off on his deific tirade at the party pretty much specifically to keep Diana off in the underbrush). That left a suspect pool of pretty much one, with plenty of bits with him being oddly twitchy.

If they'd killed her dog, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If they'd killed a kid, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If Whedon's gonna keep going back to the well of kill a guy in the third reel then have a female character go on a rampage I'M GONNA MAKE THE COMPARISON. It's not even motivation for the female character - its just shock the audience "oooo, the stakes are real". Its a structure. A Formula. When Zach and Joss are good buddies, and Zach wrote this, I'm gonna say its going to the same well. Its getting monotonous.

But maybe I'm missing some examples of this evidently time honored tradition with male heroes. What did you have in mind for "a main character dies in the final reel and then a protagonist goes on a rampage"?
Last edit: 20 Jun 2017 13:22 by AuGoose.

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20 Jun 2017 13:25 #54899 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman is a good movie because it follows the rules.
There is nothing new here under the Sun.

Joe Cambell wrote it all down years ago.
Fill in the blanks as you go along.

1. THE ORDINARY WORLD. The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history. Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE. Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.

3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.

4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR. The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.

6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES. The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

7. APPROACH. The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

8. THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.

9. THE REWARD. The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.

10. THE ROAD BACK. About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home. Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.

11. THE RESURRECTION. At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level. By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.

12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR. The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.
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20 Jun 2017 13:32 #54900 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
Ah, reductionism at it's finest. The Heroic Journey - the story that wishes it was all stories-- but isn't. Thankfully.

Which is pretty much why Warcraft fumbled at the box office... and why I loved it.

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20 Jun 2017 14:02 #54902 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

AuGoose wrote: Yes, her own permanent series has seen some talent try to come in and tidy up the place. Personally I liked the JMS reboot aside from a few iffy costuming choices. It gave us the first really modern WW villain in ages before the whole attempt was boo'd off the stage. We got a Blackwater-style torturer-for-hire burned alive by Amazons and seemingly plucked back from the edge of death by Ares. That dude was alarming!


I think that you're both right in the sense that Ww comic book tend to swing very wildly depending on the time of the year. While this can be said of pretty much every title under the sun, I believe it's particolary noticeable with her because she's supposed to be a big deal, but very few writers seem to get the character right.

AuGoose wrote: I really don't take "no man'd land" to include "and the village beyond it." Its a totally different tempo and shifts from one man band to ensemble. It also stops relying on "could the 50 of you all keep shooting me in the one place I can't be hurt? Thanks!"


I think that the big problem is that the biggest problem with the crossing of no man's land was the pace of the scene: it looked like a weird mixture of slow-motion elements and high speed bullets that ended up giving the impression of a drawn out moment whereas it should have been a comparatively quick paced scene to work out. From the "realism" POV, Augoose has some valid points: even if Diana was working so that everyone concentrated fire on her, it's kind of ridicolous that no bullet was ever aimed below her waist (granted shooting at the belly is often the most effective choice because it's one of the less mobile parts of the human body). Still, I think that as a power show it worked and I appreciated that it wasn't completely self-serving.

AuGoose wrote: The Ares spoiler didn't matter. From the movie viewer perspective the German general was never a plausible candidate to be Ares (though he does go off on his deific tirade at the party pretty much specifically to keep Diana off in the underbrush). That left a suspect pool of pretty much one, with plenty of bits with him being oddly twitchy.


I keep thinking that the big error was to make Ares a singular character with a defined human identity. Playing him as a creepy mastermind -- while untrue to the mythological roots, which mattered zero here -- would have been more effective because it would have pushed the conflict on a different level. If Ares is the incarnation of war, of that part of the human mind that is eager to go out and kill everything that moves, what does this make Wonder Woman?

AuGoose wrote: If they'd killed her dog, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If they'd killed a kid, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If Whedon's gonna keep going back to the well of kill a guy in the third reel then have a female character go on a rampage I'M GONNA MAKE THE COMPARISON. It's not even motivation for the female character - its just shock the audience "oooo, the stakes are real". Its a structure. A Formula. When Zach and Joss are good buddies, and Zach wrote this, I'm gonna say its going to the same well. Its getting monotonous.

But maybe I'm missing some examples of this evidently time honored tradition with male heroes. What did you have in mind for "a main character dies in the final reel and then a protagonist goes on a rampage"?


On this one I side with Twice on one thing: Steve Trevor choose to die here, it wasn't a random death that triggered that final Whedon style asskicking moment, but a deliberate choice. I'm going to call the movie out on one thing: was it really necessary? The entire assumption of the scene was that being hydrogen based the gas would burn damn fast and leave very little behind. If this was true and a single bullet was enough to start the fire would have been so difficult for Steve and his team to lob in a handful of grenades and get the hell out? Especially considering that there were plenty of dead soldiers around? I know this is firdge logic, but I can totally see the scene ending the same way just with Steve getting hit by the blast and dying all the same, but out of bad luck as a casualty of war, an unwilling sacrifice to Ares, not as a guy who put his ass on the line in a stunt that was as likely not to work.

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20 Jun 2017 14:04 #54903 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

AuGoose wrote: Ah, reductionism at it's finest. The Heroic Journey - the story that wishes it was all stories-- but isn't. Thankfully.

Which is pretty much why Warcraft fumbled at the box office... and why I loved it.


I like to consider thing from the opposite POV: Campbell did his study as a form of reductionism trying to find the similarities between the tales of many different cultures ... unfortunately many people (George Lucas being the most notorious) used it as a "How To" manual.
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20 Jun 2017 18:04 #54908 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
I too liked that JMS took a swing. He reallly didn't get a chance to finish, and got waaaaay too much hate just for some freakin' pants.

AuGoose wrote: You undoubtedly get a geeky gold star for Doctor Psycho :).

If they'd killed her dog, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If they'd killed a kid, I wouldn't have made the comparison. If Whedon's gonna keep going back to the well of kill a guy in the third reel then have a female character go on a rampage I'M GONNA MAKE THE COMPARISON. It's not even motivation for the female character - its just shock the audience "oooo, the stakes are real". Its a structure. A Formula. When Zach and Joss are good buddies, and Zach wrote this, I'm gonna say its going to the same well. Its getting monotonous.

But maybe I'm missing some examples of this evidently time honored tradition with male heroes. What did you have in mind for "a main character dies in the final reel and then a protagonist goes on a rampage"?


I'd say you're getting _very_ specfic, and joining unrelated events so you can then try to prop up an argument. I do get that you're claiming Wash as "the stakes are REAL" and then later having River go on a rampage, but again _not related_, and it's _not a character motivation_. Your other examples are a DIRECT response to the death, and link the death TO the Rampage.

This IS a time honored trope. Here are some third act character death -> rampage, where it's a direct link. (Using only super hero movies)

Third act death of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man rampage. Dark Knight: Joker kills Batman's GF-> Batman rampage (might be end of second act, I still think it fits). Sin City is a set of viginettes, but it also fits the arc for Marv. Love interest gets killed -> rampage. Superman (Reeves). Lois Dies and Superman goes so crazy he makes the world revolve in the wrong direction and turns back time. (It's not a fight vs person rampage, but it IS a rampage, he's totally lost control and is fighting reality)

For that matter, Iron Man in Civil War fits the pattern. Howard Stark (a long time character in the Marvel U) does die in the beginning in a flashback, but it's the third act reveal of the details of the murder to Tony Stark that makes it fresh (to the character) and he totally rampages (he's freakin' insane). There's even a mini example of Black Panther too (not third act though). And I'll note there is a third act beat where Black Panther comes face to face with his rage, and puts it down.

This is a better example of the trope than Serenity, even though the actual death isn't in the third act and we have to rely upon the larger Marvel Universe movies to inform us about Howard Stark. The character death IS the motivating force to a third act rampage which it's not in Serenity. You hinge Serenity on Wash's death showing "the stakes are real", I'm focusing on the direct effect of the death on a main character. I think this is a stronger linkage, obviously your opinion might vary.

Pretty sure it's easy to find a lot of non super-hero examples in movies and literature.

Not to mention lots of female chracters kicking shit-tons of ass w/o a male character death to spur them on.

Over used trope, yes. Over used specfically with female characters? Not enough examples. Also: I'm not buying Serenity as part of the pattern. ;-) I'm also still going to say that Trevor's death (despite arguments on "could he have figured something better out") is themeatically different than ALL of the listed Death's above in that the character had a lot of agency in his death. It still ends up in the pattern of his death pushing the hero along, it's just slightly more palatable than just fridging the love interest to make the story work better. I mean the end result is the same, but there is at least a bit more respect there than "bad guy killed her".
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20 Jun 2017 20:50 #54909 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
Like others, I can see where you are coming from AuGoose. For sure it is an overused trope, but in this case I don't think it can be applied.

For all the faults WW had in its final act (it is certainly a big step down from the good first act, and great second act), I don't think the death of Steve Trevor is one of them. Personally, I found it logical and thus understandable, both from a narrative and thematic perspective.

Peace.

/K
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20 Jun 2017 21:16 #54910 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.
Steve's death left me a bit cold. I was already thinking ahead and could see Steve as a bridge toward wherever/whenever the next movie is set. WW2 or perhaps as late as the 70's. Who knows.

If I wrote it, Steve and Diana would have a life together, perhaps working underground to oppose a SPECTRE/HYDRA/ILLUNINATI type world organization, whatever conspiracy theory the writers might embrace. The second movie would have flashbacks to those days, but also to Steve growing old while Diana remains unchanged.

I suppose they could take Diana back to Themoscyra for most of that time, but I doubt they will. The first movie hints that she does not return. So they have to explain what she's been doing all those years and why that matters when the second movie comes along. Steve would add context and familiarity and a strong and deep relationship between them would help keep Diana human.

Anway, I also thought his death scene was too easy and lacked the depths of emotion that could have been developed and was a clumsy attempt to create/justify Diana's fire in the end.

We all have our ideas how to do any movie better, but I thought the movie worked pretty well. Given the genre (which isn't known for nuanced storytelling or performances), the whole team did a pretty good job. I put it pretty much on a par with the first Guardians of the Galaxy (haven't seen Part 2).

The big difference is that I went into Guardians with no spoilers and no preconceptions and didn't even know who the characters were. I'm not usually a big Marvel fan. It delighted me.

With WW, I came with too much baggage. I think that made Guardians more delightful at first, but in the end, I'll likely rank them at the same level. Which is to say, a lot of fun to watch. And ahead of most other genre films.

Shadar
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20 Jun 2017 21:16 #54911 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

TwiceOnThursdays wrote: I too liked that JMS took a swing. He reallly didn't get a chance to finish, and got waaaaay too much hate just for some freakin' pants.


Amen.

I'd say you're getting _very_ specfic, and joining unrelated events so you can then try to prop up an argument. I do get that you're claiming Wash as "the stakes are REAL" and then later having River go on a rampage, but again _not related_, and it's _not a character motivation_. Your other examples are a DIRECT response to the death, and link the death TO the Rampage.


Clearly the "every" in the card is distracting from my point. We have a writer who has hit on a formula and it's starting to propagate into the whole genre. It's becoming the cheap, easy, "sure fire way" of doing "make a female character look strong." My HOPE is as the pool of superheroine movies grows we see more variety of structures.

My (thankfully hazy) recollection of Electra is a similar structure (though that movie shot it self in the gut less than a minute in...).

This IS a time honored trope. Here are some third act character death -> rampage, where it's a direct link. (Using only super hero movies)

Third act death of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man rampage.


Nice. Very strong mirror. Thank you. Interesting in being so highly regarded a moment in Spider-Man lore beyond the movies. A reminder that its a powerful structure. One that benefits from not being overused.

Dark Knight: Joker kills Batman's GF-> Batman rampage (might be end of second act, I still think it fits).


Not much of a rampage there. More of a goes off to have breakfast and mope ;). As displays of power goes its a bit limp.

Sin City is a set of viginettes, but it also fits the arc for Marv. Love interest gets killed -> rampage.


Not fresh in my brain but I'll take your word for it :).

Superman (Reeves). Lois Dies and Superman goes so crazy he makes the world revolve in the wrong direction and turns back time. (It's not a fight vs person rampage, but it IS a rampage, he's totally lost control and is fighting reality)


Excellent comparison and also holds the seed of why that scene fails so badly to resonate - because the rampage goes on to show the stakes AREN'T real. Had a bad day, Supes? Unwind it.

For that matter, Iron Man in Civil War fits the pattern. Howard Stark (a long time character in the Marvel U) does die in the beginning in a flashback, but it's the third act reveal of the details of the murder to Tony Stark that makes it fresh (to the character) and he totally rampages (he's freakin' insane). There's even a mini example of Black Panther too (not third act though). And I'll note there is a third act beat where Black Panther comes face to face with his rage, and puts it down.


Not a perfect fit because it doesn't prime the audience the same way with the death itself, but I do like the look into the rampage. Doesn't really show or enhance Stark's sense of power - he doesn't do anything new or come into being in the audience's perception as ass an ass-kicker through it.

Ah, there we go. He's not gaining credibility as an ass-kicker at that point. Maybe THAT is the thread that's bothering me. With River it's "Yeah, she's pretty tough" but is revealed as "Oh my GOD..." by her rampage. Similar with Scarlet Witch: sure she's got powers, but suddenly she's revealed as 'destroy everything in line of sight with a frown' powerful. And Diana jumps from impressive meta-human to god-slayer magnitude.

This is a better example of the trope than Serenity, even though the actual death isn't in the third act and we have to rely upon the larger Marvel Universe movies to inform us about Howard Stark. The character death IS the motivating force to a third act rampage which it's not in Serenity. You hinge Serenity on Wash's death showing "the stakes are real", I'm focusing on the direct effect of the death on a main character. I think this is a stronger linkage, obviously your opinion might vary.


I'm slightly less concerned with direct effect of the death in-setting than in the manipulation of the audience. Less the world building than the craft of storytelling. In the same way that background music means nothing to the characters (without breaching the fourth wall) and has everything to do with evoking a response form the audience.

Pretty sure it's easy to find a lot of non super-hero examples in movies and literature.

Not to mention lots of female characters kicking shit-tons of ass w/o a male character death to spur them on.


Lots? Honestly, I think we lack for 'lots'. Which is part of why there is so much hooplah over "female lead movie" (and female director) that swirls around WW(2017). We have some, and we have likely more coming. The power (and danger) of tropes is the sway they hold over future work. The thinking they induce in creators. Where you get lazy design like "The Heroic Journey is a checklist". Cookbook and checklist design.

"We want her to level up before/during the finale set piece."
"Ok, which guy do we kill?"

Tell me you don't think that's a conversation they could have in Hollywood FAR too often ;).

I will say probably the most effective new archetype of female power in my lifetime is rooted entirely in Vasquez from Aliens. My god that movie NAILED IT. Ever since, you haven't had to say a word and audiences will accept a Latina hardass as fait accompli, a done deal. I do see a new female power archetype I enjoy greatly starting to get some traction in both large and small screen writing: The scary grandmother. There's starting to be more roles for older women who are ruthless and immensely powerful without resorting to fisticuffs. Characters who don't need a rampage for you to know they could kill everyone else on the screen with them. Thank you, Judi Dench-as-M. James Bond, ultimate paragon of misogynistic male power and violence... and NOT the scariest person in the room so long as M is on screen. Fuck. YEAH. That is a display of female power without having to pat itself on the back. Like Velasquez, she just IS. No trigger required.

Over used trope, yes. Over used specifically with female characters? Not enough examples. Also: I'm not buying Serenity as part of the pattern. ;-) I'm also still going to say that Trevor's death (despite arguments on "could he have figured something better out") is thematically different than ALL of the listed Death's above in that the character had a lot of agency in his death. It still ends up in the pattern of his death pushing the hero along, it's just slightly more palatable than just fridging the love interest to make the story work better. I mean the end result is the same, but there is at least a bit more respect there than "bad guy killed her".


Yeah, the fridge is not a shining moment in the more recent comic lore. I think it could have been powerful, but it was poorly delivered. I think one of the best sub-currents running through the Deadpool movie was "when regular folk come too close to hostile super-folk, they often abruptly convert to a pile of wet meat." The fridge-scenario should have done that, but it came off as just petty. I mean, we have superheroes guarding their identity all the time, fearing for their loved ones, but nobody ever follows up on the danger being real, right? Brock having tea with Aunt May is just titillation. They'd never actually have the slimy black hulk-sized Venom rip the old biddy limb from limb while Parker watches, right? I can totally see how the idea got started in the writer's head. But man, that execution...

Thanks again :). This has been great stuff. Really helped me track down what my issue is. A guy croaking as the impetus for the female character's elevation/revelation of power. It stinks of her depending on a man to 'get there'. The accompanying rampage is just to display that newly found potency :). Which is probably why Batman and Marv didn't click for me the same way. Its nothing NEW for those two.

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20 Jun 2017 21:29 #54912 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

kikass2014 wrote: Like others, I can see where you are coming from AuGoose. For sure it is an overused trope, but in this case I don't think it can be applied.


Well, this dialogue is helping me refine my concern :). In the more specific description of "significant male's death presaging female level up" Wonder Woman is right there in the center of the crosshairs.

For all the faults WW had in its final act (it is certainly a big step down from the good first act, and great second act), I don't think the death of Steve Trevor is one of them. Personally, I found it logical and thus understandable, both from a narrative and thematic perspective.


Which is kind of the exact problem -- its comfortable. She's had a lifetime on Themyscira to prepare for her destiny but it's the love of a good man that propels her to deific levels of bad-ass. For all the ardent desire for Wonder Woman to be a Girl Power flic, it's pretty damn busy stroking male egos. I mean, would you disagree with "she couldn't have done it without him"?

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21 Jun 2017 00:04 - 21 Jun 2017 00:08 #54916 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic So, I've now seen Wonder Woman.

I mean, would you disagree with "she couldn't have done it without him"?


Yeah I would disagree with that (I'm assuming you mean him dying). The outcome could have been the same and Steve Trevor lived (jumped out the plane as it blew up, for example). And yeah, I could buy that. The knowledge that Steve had succeeded in stopping the poison gas (and the villain's master plan) could have the same effect. WW goes uber-powerful, buoyed by the victory of Steve. Sure. No problem with that. :)

If we are looking at that specific scene, like I said, the problem of Trevor's death isn't the biggest glaring factor. The fact that she does reach "deific levels of bad-ass" (<- awesome description btw :P) for me is a more glaring, hmm, oversight. Where was that when she was fighting Doomsday? Like she is literally walking towards ARES and shit is bouncing off her without a scratch :huh: But I digress.

I do see a new female power archetype I enjoy greatly starting to get some traction in both large and small screen writing: The scary grandmother. There's starting to be more roles for older women who are ruthless and immensely powerful without resorting to fisticuffs. Characters who don't need a rampage for you to know they could kill everyone else on the screen with them. Thank you, Judi Dench-as-M. James Bond, ultimate paragon of misogynistic male power and violence... and NOT the scariest person in the room so long as M is on screen. Fuck. YEAH. That is a display of female power without having to pat itself on the back.


Awesome observation imo. I never really could frame it, but I know what you are describing and agree. Good explanation :)

Peace.

/K
Last edit: 21 Jun 2017 00:08 by kikass2014.

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25 Jun 2017 16:39 - 25 Jun 2017 17:29 #54996 by Woodclaw
Last edit: 25 Jun 2017 17:29 by Woodclaw.

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25 Jun 2017 17:34 #54997 by shadar

Woodclaw wrote: Well, I'll be darned ?

io9.gizmodo.com/wonder-woman-actor-says-...-demi-god-1796389983


Imagine if you are one of 8,000 people on the entire planet who understands that language, and you hear someone speaking it in a superhero movie, with no subtitle or anything else. And it reveals something that no one else knows.

That must feel effing amazing. Kudos to Jenkins for thrilling a few people by showing respect to their tribe in a way that movies just don't do.

An Easter egg for the very, very, very few.

My estimation of Jenkins just went up another notch.

Shadar

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25 Jun 2017 17:39 #54998 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic WW - Spoiler Thread - Read if you want spoilers
I nailed Chief being special in the Wonder Woman Easter Eggs thread!

I just didn't know how special. :)

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