Wonder Woman Screen Triumph

Wonder Woman is my kind of hero, and since I’m holding out for a hero around here, more Wonder Woman content might appear here than on other blogs.  Although, she’s pretty popular at the moment.

And I think her red, white, and blue costume is perfect for Independence Day. All this because Wonder Woman’s feature film catapulted her to the top of many charts.

This isn’t another movie review. You can read my thoughts on the movie here.

Today I’m going to enumerate the things ONLY screenwriters and filmmakers could do for Wonder Woman. Well, except for what the gal does for herself by being a demigod with a pure heart and idealistic motives.

The Superpowers

I have no idea what powers Wonder Woman had in the comics. I watched the television series featuring Lynda Carter, and I knew about superhuman strength, bulletproof bracelets, a boomerang tiara, the lasso of truth and an invisible jet.

The filmmakers include all of those things with the caveat that Wonder Woman can fly on her own. So there’s no invisible jet, just demi-god propelled soaring.

They also give her a shield and sword. The shield might not be as awesome as Captain America’s, but it gives her the protection she needs to walk into machine gun fire. And it works well as a springboard during some of the fight scenes.

The sword, God-Killer, is given prominent screen time, but in the end, it doesn’t live up to its name. It’s a false talisman, and Diana’s courage nearly crumbles along with it.

The best power? Diana realizes love is the greatest power of all.

This felt a little cliche to me, especially since the filmmakers are claiming there wasn’t a romance between Steve and Diana (which there is in the comic book world).

But the sentiment? I totally endorse it.

What did I covet? That lasso. She used it like a whip, a slingshot and of course to reveal the truth of the situation.

Super Visual Effects

Gal Gadot is amazing, but you have to give credit to the digital effects team. And it’s a large team. Don’t believe me? Watch the credits. *20 minutes later* See what I mean?

From the beginning, viewers see the Amazon warriors as superior athletes, performing martial arts moves and acrobatic feats to aid them in their hand-to-hand combat. When Zeus created them to save mankind from constant war, battles were fought in close quarters.

The reaction to the advanced technology the Germans brought to the island? It was sadly lacking. Diana should have been more surprised by the weaponry of the early 20th Century. And how could her training possibly hold up in the face of tanks and automatic gunfire?

The filmmakers give ample room and reason for Wonder Woman to use the fighting skills to awe and inspire everyone. Her demigod reflexes thrust those bracelets (okay, really bracers or vambraces, but that doesn’t sound as pretty does it?) in the path of speeding bullets. But how did she know it would deflect them?

The ultimate battle with Ares could have been more awesome. He didn’t toss around his lightning early or with pizzazz. And he didn’t feel evil to me.

Maybe that was the point?

If you saw the movie, what things did the filmmakers amaze you with? What could they have done better?

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Book or Movie? Your answer Does matter

Image from devantart.net

A new movie trailer revs your adrenaline. The title sounds vaguely familiar. Right. It echoes from the bestselling book list – New York Times or Amazon.

Sometimes this is a good thing. I’m thinking about Catching Fire, which moved along quite well on the big screen. Things were still lost; many of them had been cut from the first movie. Overall, I experienced the same thrill ride during the movie as I had reading the book (except for the shock at the end was no surprise since I’d read the novel first).

Many times it would be better for movie makers to leave the story alone. I wonder if authors are so eager to make a buck that they don’t care about what a movie does to their story. Maybe they give away their right to approve the script before any filming happens.

I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say it is the second answer. Who would want the true message of their story buried beneath special effects and poor acting?

“Have you read the book?” is one of my favorite questions when someone raves about the latest and greatest at the box office. More and more blockbuster films are adaptations from a bestselling novel.

Most of the time, I get one of these three responses:

  1. “No, but I’ve heard it’s really good.”   So they are basing their decision to see the movie on more than just the movie trailer. Someone in their circle of friends has a literary bone or a craving for reading. The reader has done what all authors wish they would – bragged to others about how lost they got in the story. Do they take that final step and tell their friends, “You should read it”?
  2. “No. Have you?”  I respect people for this avoidance tactic. Most of the people who use this response haven’t read a book for pleasure in their lives. Maybe they’re too busy, too tired or too something. Most likely, they never learned to love to read. After all, reading engages your brain. Watching a movie lulls it to sleep. (I wrote an entire post about this that may or may not see the light of day at a later date – if I can keep it from sounding like a rant.)
  3. “I started it, but I know I’ll like the movie better.”  I’m saddened by this answer to my question. This indicates a deeper issue that could bury the market for books beneath the cry for movies. The reader can’t visualize the words and concepts shared on the page by the author. Maybe they aren’t a fluent reader. Perhaps they just have no imagination. Whatever the reason, they are content to let a filmmaker somewhere decide what aspects of the story are important.

keep-calm-and-read-the-book-before-the-movie-3All of these responses thrill those Hollywood executives with their Maseratis and $1000 suits. They gladly take your $8 – $10 at the box office and don’t care if you ever read the book.

What about the original creator of such a fantabulous story? Yes, I’m talking about the author. Most people who love the movies, don’t even know the names of those original architects. Can you say Nicholas Sparks, Suzanne Collins or John Green?

When I’m asked if I’ve read the book, I have one of three responses:

  1. “No, but I put it on my ‘to be read’ list when I saw the movie trailer.” Two books that come to mind are The Help and The Fault in our Stars. I haven’t heard negative tales of the movies doing the book a disservice.
  2. “Of course. I’m worried the movie will completely destroy the story.” Eragon, Christopher Paolini’s bestseller was completely misrepresented and befuddled in the hands of movie makers.
  3. “Yes and I wish they wouldn’t try to make a movie about this. It’s a book everyone should read.” This was my response to The Book Thief. I haven’t seen the movie, but literary people I respect tell me the movie holds true to the book.

What do you think about books that later become movies? Do you feel people should always read the book? Are there times the movie is a better representation of the author’s purpose?