Wonder Woman: The RevolutionSF Review

“It’s wonderful. You should be very proud.” — Diana

Except for fifteen or so excellent minutes of last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman has not been a real, live-action superhero since the 1970s.

Her show at that time was awesome. I wrote Lynda Carter a letter when I was eight. That’s how much I liked it. I never wrote letters to David Hasselhoff or Mr. T. (Sidebar to self: Get to work on that.)

My favorite part of the movie is that my awesome wife and awesome daughter saw a movie with me starring a female superhero; and she is not a costar or part of a team. She’s the whole movie. Male humans have plenty of superheroes who star in movies. I’m the dad of  a female human, and this kind of thing is pretty important to me.

They loved the movie, too.

In one sentence: This movie is excellent and you should see it right now. By that, I mean put down your phone or knock over your desktop computer and run to the theater, right now.

Stuff’s about to get real.

 

The Wonder Woman movie is uplifting, joyful, even. It is tense, and thrilling, and draws out the emotional stuff from you, the viewer.

Wonder Woman is a hero that should have been in movies years and years ago. Her motives are pure, and she’s not sarcastic or ironic in her willful intent to do good. That’s a good way to portray a superhero, but it’s moreso a good way to portray any heroic character.

For many folks, their only exposure to Wonder Woman is the 1970s TV series and the Super Friends cartoon. She does not have her invisible jet in this movie– as far as we know. It’s invisible.

Everything fans of that show remember is brought back and revamped in the movie, from her secret identity of Diana Prince to Steve Trevor to Etta Candy to the bracelets and the golden lasso.

This is the kind of movie that will require multiple viewings, not because you might have missed something, but because you will want to see some scenes again.

My favorite neat thing about the movie, among lots of neat things, is Antiope, the Amazon general who trains Diana. She is played by Robin Wright — who also played Buttercup in another favorite movie, The Princess Bride. 

You do not need to be a diehard superhero geek to enjoy the movie. You do not need to see some other movie before you see this one. (That’s right. It’s OK to skip the previously mentioned Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Or you could just fast forward that movie to the Wonder Woman parts.)

The movie explains everything to you, and also includes bad guys getting kicked in the butt (not literally. Maybe in the sequel.)

Learned individuals who have done their superhero research will find this movie to be crammed with comic-book references, characters, and happenings pulled from the source material. For those who do not consider themselves superhero geeks, give it time. Soon you will be one of us. This is an amazing place to start.

Follow Joe Crowe on Instagram and Twitter at @yojoecrowe and  @yojoecrowe.

 

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RevolutionSF Book Probe: Guardians of the Galaxy, Tolkien, Dr. Caligari

Book Probe eliminates the troublesome freedom of choice from your book selection process. These are things you should buy (click on the title to do so). Get on it. 

The Battles of Tolkien by David Day

Occasionally, I get to review something that hits the ol’ spot, something that scratches a certain itch.

This time it’s “The Battles of Tolkien,” an exhaustive, geeky look at all the war stuff in “Lord of the Rings, analyzing each battle from Helm’s Deep to Isengard.

It’s a gorgeous book, filled with timelines and locations, with sepia-toned pages that look like a Tolkien book should look: like it’s been sitting on a dusty shelf for ages immemorial.

Maps are my favorite thing in any fantasy novel. Maps show that the author thinks way too much about the world they’re writing in. Tolkien, literally, wrote the book on thinking too much about his world, and this book takes a swan-dive off the deep end into the minutiae and arcana that Tolkien fans are so fannish about.

Guardians of the Galaxy Dot-to-Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte

These dot-to-dot books have really stepped up their game since I was a young colored-pencil wielding rapscallion.

Thomas Pavitte’s Guardians of the Galaxy dot-to-dot book is enormous, the size of a 1970s Marvel Treasury Edition comic book, which in this case is appropriate. Guardians of the Galaxy is the geekiest of the Marvel movies, thoroughly embracing years of Marvel Comics awesomeness.

You have to respect the overall geekiness of the subject matter, since Pavitte pulled from all the eras of the Guardians– the images include the cast of the movie, Nova from current Marvel comics, all the way to the comic book version of Mantis and 1970s classic hero Adam Warlock.

The connecting of the dots herein will require an extraordinary attention to detail, but the results will be poster-sized geeky productions, ready to show off a talking raccoon on your wall.

You are going to need a metric ton of colored pencils. Each picture has about a zillion dots to connect. I’m rounding down. It could be a full jillion.

In your face, rainy days! This book has you covered.

The Asylum of Dr. Caligari by James Morrow

This book is at once a tribute to the horror film and the German silent film about the Cabinet of the doctor of the title, but this one goes further than either of those, into history, art, and psychology. Roger Ebert called that film the first horror movie, so the book has a lot to live up to.

Really, there’s a lot to unpack. The story is equal parts horror, historical fiction, and adventure. And it’s a book, so just like with the subtitles on the Calgary silent film, you still have to read. Foiled again, non-readers!

The story takes place before World War I, where evil psychiatrist and wizard and all around villain-type Dr. C hires a painter, then sells the right to show soldiers his painting, which will pump them up for battle.

If it had been set in the 1980s, Caligari could have hired the rock band Survivor. Same thing would have happened.

Morrow’s construction of his world in the pre-WWI era are intricate and detailed. It’s a history lesson if you want to skip over the mad-scientist parts for some reason.  I’m not recommending that you do, but history buffs should be aware of that option.

The story makes points about the effect of art on humanity and its relevance to society, but it’s also terrifying, with dark humor and a clever tone that is way different from run-of-the-mill horror stories.

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Star Trek Discovery Trailer Probe: 4-Word Reviews

Star Trek: Discovery! There is a trailer, and the RevolutionSF collective watched it.  The show will air “this fall” on CBS Access if you pay them money so you can watch it. (Sidebar: It will be on CBS Access whether you pay them money or not.) 

Watch it here!

We challenged each other to review the trailer using only four words.

If anyone wrote more than four words about the trailer, we made them read the comments from men’s rights activists about the trailer. That’s right. ALL OF THEM. Send us yours at RevolutionSF.

Yes! Yes! Oh YES!!!! –Gary Mitchel, @Gary_Mitchel

Make bigoted nerds cry! —Tegan Hendrickson, @artful_username

Pretty trailer. Ugly Klingons. –Jayme Blaschke, @JaymeBlaschke

Those are Klingons? OK. –Sue Kisenwether, @spaltor

Exciting trailer. Ugly fandom. –Michael Falkner, @womprat99

 

 

Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE YEOH. –Van Allen Plexico, @vanallenplexico

Michelle Yeoh. Effing Finally! –Mark Finn, @FinnsWake

Passing Bechdel? Flying colors. –Sue Kisenwether, @spaltor

We have Doug Jones! –Tegan Hendrickson, @artful_username

I miss Jonathan Archer. –John S. Drew, @drewshi2000

Automatically better than Voyager. –Mark Finn, @FinnsWake

Found anything yet?

 

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A bunch of updates — including themes

I just updated several plugins and some themes on the WordPress installation. I don’t expect that to cause troubles, but if you notice anything which is behaving unusually on your blogs, let me know.

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Updates on updates and new security

Hey, y’all!

I was sitting around, staring at a computer monitor like normal, and I thought, if I’m not on the RevBlogs every day, there should probably be some security. So I popped in to install the WordFence security plugin. This has got a bunch of nifty features, like a firewall which blocks a lot of anticipated attacks, a brute force blocker, and an automatic malware scanner. This shouldn’t cause you any problems, except that you can get locked out for inputting the wrong password too many times. But your blog admin email should get you back in. Let me know if you run into any snags or problems!

I also updated all the network wide plugins. If you notice anything odd with your sites from that too, let me know.

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RevBlog analytics reports going out tomorrow

I’ve put together recurring analytics report emails for two of the blogs on this site. Why two? Because I could quickly come up with the email addresses of those two.

If you want one of your own (they’re in PDF and have more information than you probably want) and you don’t get one on Monday, then drop me a line and I’ll set you up.

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RevBlogging Updates and Analytics Capabilities

Howdy, RevBloggers! I’ve been doing some maintenance to the blogs today. WordPress has been updated to the most current version, as well as all the plugins which you know and love.

If you’re interested in tracking the visitors to your site, I’ve just implemented the StatCounter plugin. This requires a sign-in at the StatCounter site to activate for your individual blog. I have not actually tried this myself, so I don’t know if that will work. Let me know if you try it!

Also, there’s been some snafus with the Google Analytics tracking, which I had thought was working fine, but in fact it had completely disappeared, apparently some time ago. This is probably because the themes on a multi-site installation are prone to updating and destruction of any hard-coded javascript additions.

So, I spent most of this afternoon figuring out how to enqueue Google Analytics javascript snippets into the header of every sub-site in the RevBlog network. If you’re googling the answer to this question, the secret is to put a micro-plugin into the folder /wp-content/mu-plugins. Here’s the code:



This doesn’t necessarily help you if you’re a regular blogger who just wants to see how many people are reading your posts. I believe I can have a larger drilldown of performance emailed to you on a regular basis, with all the funky little details which makes Google Analytics so powerful. Let me know if you want one of those, and I’ll set you up.

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Getting an Avatar!

As you sign up and start working on your new RevSF blogs, you may have noticed that there’s no place in the user settings to upload a profile picture. That’s because WordPress is a participant in the Gravatar system. All you need is the email you use for your WordPress user account. When you sign up at Gravatar you will end up with an avatar which will follow you across the web.

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Membership in the RevSF blogs

I just re-invited everyone to be the administrators to their blogs within the new WordPress system. At least everyone known to Joe and myself, which leaves quite a lot of unclaimed blogs. So if you own a blog on this site and you’re not yet the administrator, drop us a line and we’ll see if we can set you up.

For that matter, if you don’t have a blog here, and you would like one, let me know and I’ll see if I can get you set up ahead of the rush.

To contact me, email “blogguys (the character you expect to see here) revolutionsf.com”.

 

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Welcome to the new RevolutionSF blogs!

The old RevolutionSF blogs have been replaced with a brand new, state of the art, WordPress blog network. If you don’t yet have a blog here, then you ought to drop us a line and we’ll see if we can set you up. If you’ve been a longstanding contributor to these blogs, then your old posts have already been transferred to this new installation and they’re waiting for you to join them.

We’re sure that you will enjoy the many features of this blogging platform.

Drop us a line if you run into any problems, and happy blogging!

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