Movie Review – “IT”

I have been a huge Stephen King fan for as long as I have been reading novels, but IT was the one that I intentionally avoided, because, y’know, clowns. Upon seeing the trailer for the upcoming film I decided that I would finally delve in and face my fears.

What I’m trying to get at is- I’m that “read the book first” asshole.

IT- the novel- really touched my heart. I became obsessed with how it made me feel to read it. It was a great surprise to find out that it is not only a story about harrowing levels of fear and horror in both the supernatural and natural sense, but it is a story about the romance, beauty and purity of young friendship. The spiritual connection between the “Losers Club” throughout as they deal with the pain in their own lives, as well as this haunting entity that is consuming their town is the primary focus of the story. I have never been on an emotional ride quite like it.

So, I went into “IT” with a blend of emotions that I normally don’t bring into my cinematic life- excitement and complete and utter fear. I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t like to be scared. I HATE gore. Despite all of that, I was seduced by the idea of letting this movie funnel through my system, almost like a cleansing experience for my fragile soul. There was a very good chance that I would walk away traumatized.

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IT was incredibly respectful and faithful to its source material in many ways, from the underlying themes, the makeup of its characters, and the childlike sense of humor and fear alike. The kids are charismatic (every actor is AMAZING), emotional and hilarious, the cinematography is gorgeous and very representative of the time period, and Pennywise was, well, terrifying. I was slightly less than sober as a security measure, but I was honestly scared at a level that I haven’t been in a long time. I was fucking scared, okay!? IT and actor Bill Skarsgard capture the oddball, creepy style of Pennywise that Stephen King created while perfectly conveying how terrifying the shape shifting demon truly is.

It appeared that many of the effects used in the film were practical, which really added to the retro feel and gave a lot more realism to the horror, creating visual scares that are a perfect blend of camp and creep. IT is a childs worst nightmares come to life, as it was meant to be.

As for any critique, there was a large volume of content left out from the 1000+ page epic that it drew from, but a huge portion of that material was focused on the psychological and physical violence that happened when IT wasn’t around. It also delved deeply into the forces at work behind the encounters. There was less emphasis on the evil enveloping the town of Derry itself, with more focus on the physical incarnation of its monster. I was surprised that the presence of the bullies of Derry were so dialed back-seeing as Bowers was just as much a villain as IT in the novel, along with Bevs father and Eddie’s mother. Bowers is psychotic and disgustingly racist,like his father, and his constant pursuit of the kids is heart pumping. The rock fight scene, for example, was dealt with in a rather passive way in the film, where it was originally a VERY tense situation-fueled by murderous rage. The storyline involving the bullies was essentially kicked to the curb, so although I was clearly rooting for them, there was little sympathy built up for the hell that these “losers” go through everyday. Though it was never acknowledged outwardly, the courage that compels these kids to take on a monster is meant to come out of their connection to the spiritual forces behind IT. Every action is one that is necessary, because they are being influenced, almost used, and the kids themselves can feel the magic of said forces guiding them through this story.   The strength of their bond comes heavily from the time that they spend being there for one another, learning to love one another, building an impenetrable circle by facing the Derry monster head on to learn more about it. That element was missing in many ways, but their actions spoke to these ideas.

Despite the absence of alot of material crucial  to the makeup of IT, the pacing of the film was thoughtfully structured to fit in everything that they intended to, and I feel that they effectively wound the story to their will. There was rarely a dull moment.

Now I can only hope that the next installment (or installments?) are just as satisfying. I presume that they will involve more of the missing elements in the coming chapters, like the specifics about what IT is. The ending seems to lend itself to the idea that we are not supposed to understand what IT is at this point, or what IT wants- only what IT is capable of.

All said and done, the one thought that continued to dance through my head as I was shaking and closing my eyes was simply “this is perfect”-and it was, for me. I wanted to see IT, and I did. I felt all of the emotions that I felt while reading it, and I loved it all the more for taking me back into that head space. It felt like something from Stephen Kings mind.

This sounds so bizarre coming from me, but I loved a movie about a killer clown. Now I just need a few days to be able to fall asleep again.

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My LCHF Conquest – Day Two – Shopping List & Meal Planning

As promised, here is my keto/LCHF shopping list and an example of how I organize my shopping lists

MEAT

Chicken breasts – tray of 7

Tuna – 4 cans

Bacon – 2 packs

Ground turkey – 4 pounds

DAIRY

Sour cream

Whipping cream

Feta Cheese

Boccocini Cheese

Herb and Garlic Cheddar

Butter – 1 block

Eggs – 1 dozen

VEGGIES

Cauliflower – 2 heads

Cabbage – 1 head

Red peppers – 8

Mushrooms

Cucumbers – 3

Celery – 2 bundles

Spinach

Romaine

Onions – white and green

PANTRY

Canned tomatoes

Olive oil mayo

Coconut flour

Total cost: $130

Meal Plan:

MAKE

Breakfast

Crepes – bacon, cheese, poached egg – Turkey breakfast sausage on the side

Quiche – bacon, mushroom, spinach – Turkey breakfast sausage on the side

LUNCH

Lemon chicken rice soup

Tuna salad lettuce wraps

Curry chicken salad lettuce wraps

Tomato and red pepper soup with bacon, cheese crisps

DINNER

Cauliflower cabbage rolls

Noodle Bowls – Squash noodles, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, bacon

Musaka

Stuffed peppers

SNACKS

Cheese stuffed Turkey meatballs

Buffalo chicken, green onions, sour cream, celery

Photos and walkthroughs coming next! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @thedaniplanet

My LCHF Conquest- Day 1: The W’s

**Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. Everything that I write, discuss or suggest in these posts are strictly meant to journal my experiences on a ketogenic/ liw carb high fat diet, as well as to share my recipes, meal ideas and general tips about pursuing this yourself-if you so choose. My experiences may not be the same as yours, but I want to offer as much information as possible to anyone that wants to give it a try. Thank you!**

 

WHO AM I?: I am a 29 year old woman who had a baby just over two years ago. Having said baby-and not being strict enough with my diet during- resulting in gaining upwards of 40 pounds at my heaviest. I went on the “keto” diet about a year ago and managed to take off 10 pounds after a month of sticking to the diet. I have kept this off since then, but I am looking to try again and see what I can accomplish.

I have a cooking background- graduating from culinary school about ten years back, working in casual and fine dining restaurants for a short time, but mainly doing a lot of research and experimentation at home. I love comfort food, but I also love coming up with healthy ideas.

You can find me on Facebook and Instagram as The Dani Planet. I will be posting a lot of keto/LCHF and food in general on my pages along with my usual pop culture rants.

WHAT IS KETO?: The ketogenic diet is one that follows one simple idea: low carb, high fat. You restrict your carb intake- including pasta, rice, bread and the usual culprits, as well as any sugars. This diet is very successful because these restrictions cause a necessary expulsion of any and all artificial foods, as well as the ultimate demon-sugar. To compensate for this restriction, you supplement with a high fat component. This feels very unnatural at first, but the majority of these fats are natural ones- butter, cream, olive oil, cheese and the like. Basically, when you instill these changes in your diet, your body kicks into a whole new metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is defined as a buildup of ketone bodies in your blood stream. The low levels of carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to drop and results in your body breaking down fat to use as energy.

This diet is controversial, but I personally have pursued it because I have seen it work on myself and on trusted friends. This is something that I will be doing on a short term basis- it is not generally recommended as a long term lifestyle change.

WHY KETO/LCHF?: I am using this diet for weight loss. Since having my son, the extra weight has left me feeling weak, lethargic, sloppy, depressed and heavy. I have trouble sleeping through the night as is, but back pain certainly doesn’t help either. Id also like to wear my old clothes again.

I was drawn to keto/LCHF not only because of the results that I saw from friends, but because the challenge of cooking under such strange guidelines appealed to the creative side of me. Coming up with ways to cook without rice, pasta, bread, potatoes or other typical sides and starches can be daunting, but I was up for the challenge.

Today is day one for me, so I will be following up this post with a grocery list and a “menu” of what I will be creating with said groceries.

Follow along and enjoy!

Review: Marvel/Netflix- The Defenders

srfIn the era of superheroes on the silver screen, the superhero team is a destination that no fan can resist the prospect of visiting. The movement of hero teams has come a long way since the X Men franchise, spawning the Avengers universe, Guardians of the Galaxy, Suicide Squad and the soon-to-be-released production of the first ever Justice League film. The Defenders may come up as small fish in a big pond in this world, but with a showrunner as massive and well respected as Netflix at the helm and a moderately strong foundation of solo origin stories, expectations were fairly high in my world.

Unfortunately, after Daredevil set a gold standard for what a graphic, no holds barred Marvel entity could look like, things began to take a downturn thereafter. Jessica Jones was a formidable achievement in assembling a mostly female cast in an incredibly dark story, but it suffered with characters getting screen time that I cared little for. Daredevils second season was given a mixed response from the general public, but I still felt the magic with both its exceptional heroes and villains, as well as its action. What followed was, needless to say, a downward spiral. Luke Cage was simply lacking- and Iron Fist proved to be so utterly mediocre that I barely got past the first episode.

Defenders succeeds in a few things, but unfortunately it only succeeds in those few things. The pacing is incredibly slow-taking at least three episodes (out of only 8) before the team “assembles” as it were. That coming together lasts a very short time when Iron Fist is separated both physically and emotionally from the group. The basis for their collaboration is to bring down the mystical, menacing ninja organization called ‘The Hand’. The danger is apparent only because we have seen their influence in past shows, but at no point is it clear exactly what the hell the danger is. They speak in nothing but cryptic and generic villainous phrases about “the plan” for the majority of the story, and there seems to be little urgency in executing said plan. Any life threatening situation involving a member of ‘The Hand’ comes down to them being somehow more stealthy, agile and impenetrable than the superheroes themselves. Again, there is little tension or danger to be felt in any real way on either side. The Hand doesn’t seem to feel much threat from the Defenders (they barely know anything about them) and they rely on their fearless leader- Sigourney Weaver-to decide their actions.

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As strong as Weaver is, her role in this show suffers from the same bland, cryptic, generic, threatening quips which result in her saying or doing very little aside from talking to Elektra, asserting her dominance and saying “the black sky” “the black sky” and “the black sky”. Oh, and “the plan”. Are they ever going to tell us exactly why the Black Sky is this once in a lifetime savior of all that is bad and evil, aside from the fact that she can kill loads of ninjas? The way that Alexandra talks about the Black Sky to the other members of the hand feels an awful lot like Luke and Obi Wan trying to convince Han Solo that the force is real. She seems to be this aspect of their spiritual or religious beliefs that only Alexandra believes in-and she took very little effort to elaborate on what exactly her place in this grand scheme was meant to be. This was a very vague and non-specific brand of evil-unlike someone such as Kilgrave-who could create absolute devastation in a single thought and whos evil was enough to make your skin crawl. I felt myself longing for the complexity, depth and strength in the character development and stories of Wilson Fisk and Frank Castle- dangerous men who took real action, held real relationships and felt real pain in defeat.

This lackluster dialogue issue doesn’t just apply to these boring villains, either. There was so very little substance in the conversations and back-and-forth between most every relationship in this show. I felt little connection to the shallow and simplistic script shoved onto a group of decent actors. I felt bored by it. This was most evident in every scene involving Iron Fist and company, where I saw a noticeable drop in the quality of both the acting and the writing-like they were still separate people writing for each hero.

The action on the show certainly stood up in terms of choreography and epic moments for each character to showcase their powers- but something was seriously up with the editing here. In the first couple episodes especially, the cuts felt so choppy and there was little flow to speak of. It was the most rushed, yet slow moving show that I’ve seen in awhile. Its like this show ran on an Agents of Shield production budget with Netflix level censorship.

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Not only are The Defenders up against this mysterious and widespread virus of an organization that has engulfed their own cities seedy underbelly as well as others around the world, but they have to contend with working around the law and remaining somewhat discrete to the general public. The element of the law-for most of this series- seems meant to be incredibly annoying and constantly getting in their way. Yes, it does make sense that the Defenders all have mainstream connections that assist them in their vigilantism, but often they served as a device to stall the real action from happening. There is also this pesky problem with Iron Fist, going around with the same dumb face all the time, being a pawn on both sides of the fight. This element of the story made sense, but with little personal connection to the rest of the Defenders, their worry for his well being never felt truly passionate.

It looks a bit like this, but mad.

As far as supporting characters go, there really was nobody worth noting aside from Rosario Dawson. She exuded more passion and delivered in a more believable way than most of her costars throughout. She served as a strong buoy with which to connect the islands of each series together-but I wish that they had taken the time to build their relationships through their connections to Claire, perhaps through Daredevils wanting to bring down both Fisk and the Hand. Perhaps I just wanted Fisk to be the villain. I miss Fisk, guys.

Now, for some good points.

One thing that I really and truly loved in the Defenders was their use of color. In nearly every single scene you will notice that the color palette of the environment has shifted completely either as a whole or around each individual character. Jessica Jones is always in front of-or engulfed in-purple. Luke Cage lives in a yellow tinge. Iron Fist-especially towards the end- basks in dark green. Daredevil of course, is surrounded with red. In the fight scene between Jessica and Daredevil, the room is a mixture of red and purple- almost giving away that Daredevil was about to pop up before the audience even saw him. That element was very clever and I felt really amused by it, almost distracted by it.

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In the vein of visuals, I was happy with many of the costume choices for the characters- half of which don’t really wear “costumes”. Luke Cage was almost always rocking either a bright yellow shirt or a hoodie with a yellow lining, so that it was always visible around his neck. Jessica basically just ran, fought and slept in the same infinity scarf, leather jacket and combat boots the entire time, while Danny adopted a dark green ensemble towards the end-exposed chest on display. Daredevil and Elektra were the only superheroes dressed like traditional superheroes at all-and I really and truly loved both takes on their classic attire. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense why Elektra was given such a strange outfit with which to serve as a living weapon, but I was happy with the look. I hope to see Daredevils suit connection branch out with his new colleagues!

Needless to say, in a world where the action scene is becoming more and more high quality ( a la John Wick) and writing for superhero properties can be as fantastic as we have seen in things like Daredevil, Logan, Deadpool, etc- it is truly unfortunate that Defenders came out to feel so very uncared for. Perhaps it was rushed. Perhaps there was never a great handle on the story. Maybe the collaboration between shows wasn’t there-because I didn’t feel a whole lot of it. Aside from some badass moments from characters like Stick and Daredevil, a couple of “hell yeah” fight sequences and a few treats for the fans, I felt very little love in this project.

What was meant to serve as the “climax” of this tale was an empty threat- because Daredevil already has a third season. Of course, I’m entirely curious as to how exactly those events played out- but I didn’t for a single second believe that Matt Murdock was actually gone for good. Thats how this whole “show renewal” thing works.

Why’Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is the Modern Day Seinfeld

When I first started watching ‘Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ I had a tough time marathon watching a show so loud, so obnoxious, and so ripe with vial personalities. As time went on and the show gained more confidence-I began to see what all the fuss was about. I felt a familiar and comforting edge to this wacky production.

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‘Its Always Sunny’ is well loved for its obtuse and often self contained episodes, its cast of top shelf narcissists and its expert ability to make something from a show that is really about nothing. Sound familiar?

The show centers on a group of friends- Dee and Dennis Reynolds, Charlie Kelly and Mac- “running” an irish pub in Philadelphia with the help of their eccentric patriarch and financier- Frank. Imagine if the gang from Seinfeld had children and those children decided to wallow in their despicable, drunken laziness together for the rest of their adult lives.

The Seinfeld comparison doesn’t stop there either. Its not such a far stretch to compare the deranged Danny Devito to an aged George Costanza- formerly successful but brought down by his own transgressions. He wants to run the show at all times but he can’t seem to keep himself away from the gang-the only family that he really has. He doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks of him or his actions-whether it be his perverted views towards women, his disgusting and dirty lifestyle, or his strange friendship with Charlie.

Dennis-who believes himself to be some kind of lady killing genius- has a definite Jerry-esque quality to the way that he holds himself above his friends. (He might be an actual lady killer, as well. I’m only on season 10 so I don’t know if they’ve confirmed that yet.) In reality, Dennis is arguably the most intelligent one in the gang-but the fact that he knows that makes his dynamic all the more arrogant. He believes that he is capable of mastering anything that he tries, but he is just as lazy and self involved as his friends and therefore his conquests are always a failure.  Although Mac is technically the Jerry Seinfeld of this show, his attempts to be the alpha male are often overpowered.

Mac and Charlie are just…really dumb. So dumb. They are the most dangerous brand of stupidity in which they have no self awareness whatsoever. Granted, Charlie often shows signs of being a genuinely good person, but he is rather psychotic. Mac simply refuses to admit that anything but his beliefs are valid. He is like a living embodiment of a twelve year old internet troll.  Both of these guys could pass for very inflated versions of Costanza-ism from their sheer lack of intelligence to their delusions of grandeur, but I would akin Charlies physical humor and business prowess to Kramer and his high pitched yelling fits to George.

Dee might not have herself together quite as much as Elaine ever did, but she certainly has her flighty and egocentric tendencies. She holds her own amongst the boys, though it is well established that she is their collective punching bag. She suffers from unrealistic expectations in all aspects of her life, assuming that she is deserving of the highest quality of companionship and lifestyle despite the fact that she is a horrible human being herself. Unless you’re hot and rich, you are not spongeworthy. Though she often has storylines that would only be possible because she is a woman, over time she has been given more and more content to play with on the show. In fact, I would argue that she has done some of the most risky material. I can see Kaitlin Olsen herself going down the path of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her future. Shes that good.

The gang spends every episode ruining the lives of the people around them- as the Seinfeld crew did with their romantic partners, business owners and friends. What really drives ‘Its Always Sunny’ into overdrive is the simple fact that its main characters have absolutely nothing to lose but their false senses of pride. Everyone (aside from Kramer) was regularly employed in fairly serious jobs in the Seinfeld gang, so the most dire of consequences normally centered around their employment. The ‘Sunny’ gang own very little aside from their pub- which they never actually seem to be working in- and it is still unclear how any of them have money at all. The stakes are low and there is very little to lose- making the obscene nature of the show completely plausible.

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While Seinfeld touched on subjects like abortion, masturbation, birth control and the many facets of sex- ‘Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ has taken this cue and run it into the extreme. We’ve seen at least two characters in blackface, we’ve seen Dee have a baby for a transgender woman who Mac was in love with and still might be, and we’ve seen Frank and Dennis both have sex with the drug addicted waitress that Charlie obsessively stalks. Mac is homophobic but is quite possibly very gay. Dee dated and then dumped an army veteran. Everything that most shows might be afraid to approach- they knock you over the head with it-and it works. It is without fear. The same could have been said for Seinfeld in its time. It was edgy, a little silly and a portrait of white people problems.

All of this is pulled off by a cast and crew of amazing writers and improvisational wizards. If you’re not already watching it, get on it.

Album Reviews: Katy Perry, Lorde, Portugal the Man

Katy Perry – Witness

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Had I listened to this album based solely on the singles ‘Bon Appetit’, ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ and ‘Swish swish’ I would have been take aback. However, I was ultimately brought to listen to Katy Perrys new album because I spent a half sober night watching her have a one hour therapy session in a live YouTube video. Through listening to her spill her guts about the pressures of functioning as a human being in the chaos of international stardom, I have come to understand her better. Though I almost let the YouTube comments alter my judgement- it struck me as very sincere and very brave-so much respect to you, KP!

‘Witness’ hits a sweet spot between 80s and 90s dance pop, but somehow manages to sound modern. Though even the most upsetting song lyrics are backed by a catchy beat, it embodies the essence of Katy Perrys best assets-her unique voice and her clever, versatile songwriting. Her lyrics have taken a turn from the goofy and become more about urban slang (Swish swish bish?)-but her ability to capture and convey an idea in a song is still strong.

‘Witness’ shows its greatest strength with its soul-as it is also Katy Perrys most relatable piece of work. With songs that cover everything from self love to lost love, it feels mature. It feels open. It feels honest. There is plenty of fun and playful, but there is a lot of human behind all of that.

I may be gushing, but I really fell in love with this album in its entirety moreso than any of her previous. It speaks to me at this point in my life-and I’m sure that it will speak to many others as well.

Lorde- Melodrama

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Not to be silly, but Melodrama is a perfect title to define the vibe of this album- mellow and dramatic.

Lorde gracefully rides the hype train to an album that maintains her unique sound and boasts a maturity and class that justifies her recent once in a lifetime compliment from David Bowie in which he was quoted as calling her “the future of music”. No pressure!

‘Melodrama’ is a moody, vibrant portrait of a hot summer night in the throws of young relationships. It is poetic without being pretentious and it is wise beyond its years without losing its youth- which is a perfect description of the woman herself. Songs like ‘Sober’, ‘Green Light’ ‘Supercut’ and ‘Perfect Places’ are groovy dance anthems that meld perfectly with the brooding, introspective songs like ‘Liability’ and ‘Hard Feelings/Loveless’. It is a journey through the ups and downs of love that is guided by Lordes soothing tones and funky beats.

If you were a fan of ‘Pure Heroine’ and the independently released songs that she has released since then-like ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ from the Hunger Games-you will take to ‘Melodrama’ right away. There is growth here, but there is no mistaking that you are listening to a Lorde record. She is such a rare talent who utilizes her deep vocals in a way that feels natural-and it rides the line between alternative and mainstream pop music in an interesting way. ‘Melodrama’-much like its predecessor-is a knockout.

Portugal the Man – Woodstock

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It was a breath of fresh air to finally have a new record from Portugal the Man-since our household has been playing their 2013 album ‘Evil Friends’ half to death in the past few years. Since then, we have seen a couple of random songs popping up-like the deliriously infectious ‘Noise Pollution’ and the equally as addicting single ‘Feel it Still’-both which made their way onto the album. With a short 10 song tracklist filled with their trademark falsetto vocals and hypnotic indie rock style-‘Woodstock’ is less rebellious than their 2013 album, but it is a perfect record to bring into your summer rotation.

While this blend of high vocals and upbeat tempos with an alternative rock edge is barely unique at this juncture-with bands like Foster the People sounding nearly identical-there is something special about Portugal the Man that I cannot quite put my finger on. Their sound has become more refined over the years-arguably leaning more towards the mainstream-and they have really nailed down their offbeat approach to putting together a song. ‘Woodstock’-like ‘Evil Friends’ is solid all the way through and keep your interest piqued with catchy riffs and choruses. You’ll feel good listening to this one.

Review: Wonder Woman

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Still buzzing from viewing Wonder Woman last night, I find myself in the rare position of being seduced by a film even after sleeping on it. The magic that I had hoped for in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and (slightly) Suicide Squad was finally realized in the passion project that is Wonder Woman.

Yes, of course, as a female as I went into this experience with a far different perspective than what studios may consider to be the “audience” for these films. Yes, of course I entered with my girl power flag flying. However, I went in as a woman scorned by a couple of disappointing entries in this ever growing universe of DC films. My feelings were very conflicted.

The great news here is that Wonder Woman was everything that I wanted, and more. It is a story of a woman sculpted from (genetic lottery winning) clay and brought to life by Zeus who leaves her utopian homeland of amazon warrior women with a strange man to help end Earths great war by killing Ares-the god of war. This mix of Greek mythology, historical drama and fantasy proves to be a winning combination in the hands of Patty Jenkins-known widely for her Oscar winning film ‘Monster’.

The film spends a generous amount of time in the hidden paradise of Themyscira showcasing the rigorous training, impressive agility and compassionate society that the amazon women embrace. Their culture is one of love, support, dedication, loyalty and respect-but it is also one that teaches every member of its community to be strong enough to fight for themselves. Literally. In this environment Diana is drawn to be a warrior like her mother and auntie Antiope (say that 10 times fast). Though she faces conflicting support from her family, her strong will and fighting spirit proves to be her most defining trait.

When Steve Trevor-a British spy escaping from a pack of German soldiers with incredibly important intel in tow-crash lands in Themyscira, Diana learns for the first time that there is a world outside of her own, and one that needs her help. Her motivation to rid the world of Ares evil influence is her driving force throughout this film-while love gives her the strength to carry it through to the end.

Though her relationship with Steve Trevor is certainly central to the story, it is not the type of love story which causes the lovers to sidestep their initial motivations. It gets tiresome to hear every man who she comes into contact with telling her how beautiful she is- but it reflects on the time period. Nobody wants to hear her, only to look at her. Despite all of the obvious jabs at her beauty, Dianas most beautiful and emotional scenes come when she faces evil directly in its face. Every combat scene is expertly shot, expertly choreographed and rivals anything else that I’ve seen on screen in a fantasy setting. Her physical capabilities are displayed with absolutely nothing held back-and it makes for some of the most intense and heart pumping fights in any superhero film to date.

Wonder Woman certainly has its flaws, but I was very impressed by the attention given to every aspect of it. From the accurately devastating portrayals of ground and biological warfare, to the care that went into its characters. Everyone in this diverse cast has an identity and everyone has their contribution to the big picture. Only the villains of this tale are one sided in their beleifs. The story is well paced and never dull, and it gives little screen time to the “fish out of water” tropes that it could so easily have fallen back on. Diana doesn’t learn how phones work, or learn how to walk in heels. When it comes to quality acting- Chris Pine was the star for me here. His portrayal of both a fearless and passionate soldier, as well as a man lovestruck by a woman with unflinching independence-is convincing on all accounts.

Of course, my most beloved takeaway from Wonder Woman was the woman herself. Her compassion is not weakness, and her heart is not her Achilles heel. She persists in the face of opposition and she will be silent for no one. She stands in the way of any danger-gunfire, gas or genocide. She is driven by the idea of peace and inspired by the women who made her, but she is never blinded by the past. She looks to the future.

She is a woman, and a hero, that every woman would love to be. I walk away from this film wanting to be a better woman for this world.
Sidenote: Wonder Womans theme music is LIQUID GOLD

A Beautiful Bubble

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Being a mom is harder than I ever thought it would be. It is a test of your patience, of your resilience, and your ability to deal without adequate sleep. It is a full-FULL time position that doesn’t get you paid. It is baby germs, stains, headaches and cereal for supper. It is immeasurable responsibility, it is a catalyst for change and it can be an isolating bubble to live within.

But what a beautiful, intimate, delicate bubble it is. It is full of laughter, discovery and unforgettable moments.

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms, grammas, aunties, teachers, mentors, sisters and ladies that influence with their maternal senses. To anyone left feeling alone on this day because they lost a mother or a child- keep love in your heart.

PS. My son is saying real words now-and he loves the word “bubble” right now.