Resin Heroes

Wonder Woman: Strength & Power

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of characters who have appeared in the pages of DC comics over the decades. From Flash to Aquaman and not as well known characters like Wild Dog and Vigilante. But the “big three” heroes of DC that everyone knows by heart, DC’s “trinity,” are Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. And while Batman has gotten seven movies and Superman six Wonder Woman has appeared on the big screen once, and that was in a movie where Batman and Superman fought each other.

Gal Gadot and Chris PineWhat I find most ironic is that by having Superman appear by himself over and over again on film and the same for Batman those characters have started to change in ways that make them almost unrecognizable from their origins. Over the years in the movies Batman has gone from a brooding yet heroic character, to a dark, brooding and menacing figure cloaked in darkness who’s as likely to machine gun his enemies as bring them to justice. And Superman has gone from the earnest, all-American alien who tells kids to eat their vegetables to another dark and brooding character who also kills his enemies. And I can see why this happens. When only Batman appears in Batman movies and Superman in Superman their characters are never able to really interact with anyone but the bad guys. So writers of sequels do the only thing they can and try to bring new ideas and motivations to the characters and do something different then what’s come before.

Wonder Woman comic book coverAnd a lot of the time “different then what’s come before” means making the character more “realistic,” which in Hollywood parlance when talking about superhero movies almost always means making the character “dark, brooding and willing to kill.” But that also means that we get two characters like Batman and Superman who are supposed to be at the opposite end of spectrums, dark and light, who have basically become the same character type in recent years which makes for some dark and depressing movies.

To which I think the new Wonder Woman movie is so important.

By DC introducing Wonder Woman into the Batman/Superman mix and allowing those three characters to intermingle with each other a bit it might mean that we get a Batman who’s a bit lighter and a Superman who can return to his roots as the guy who’s core value is to do the right thing at all costs. How does this happen? Because in the comics anyway, and in the one time we’ve seen her on the big screen in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman is a no-nonsense warrior-princess who won’t take any guff from the likes of Batman or Superman and is probably the only person on the planet capable of putting either of them in their places.

Wonder Woman comes from Themyscira, an island populated by warrior women who have cut themselves off from the outside world and is nearly as strong as Superman. And it’s Princess Diana, the strongest of the warriors, who’s chosen to go to the outside world and see what’s out here which seems to be the basic plot of the new movie.

It’s because Wonder Woman is who she is that I think might just breath some new life into the DC universe of movies. On the big screen at least, her character is new and fresh and her backstory is relatively unexplored. So this means that we should get a Wonder Woman a little closer to the source material, someone who’s strong and beautiful and is just as smart if not smarter than the likes of Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent.

Which is what seems to be happening with the character. The one bright shining light of Batman v Superman was the debut of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who stole the show in the big battle at the end of the movie and if the trailers are any indication for what’s to be expected in the Wonder Woman movie that’s out now is what we’ll be getting in the character’s first feature film.

I’d say enjoy Wonder Woman while you can, if she follows the path of Batman or Superman in a few decades time she’ll be a dark and brooding character herself ready for another character to come along and shake up the status quote.

2017 Summer movie preview

Out first this summer is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 May 2. I wasn’t a fan of the first movie but am in the minority since the launch of these trash-talking, comedic space-faring heroes lead by Star Lord (Chris Pratt) quickly became a surprise mega-hit at the box office a few winters ago. This time, “Chris Pratt of the 1980s” Kurt Russell joins the cast as “Ego,” who in the comics anyway is quite literally a “living planet.” And what’s not to love about that?

May 19 sees the release of Alien: Covenant, the third Ridley Scott Alien film, and a direct sequel to Prometheus (2012). Prometheus got a bad rap by the critics but made more than $400 million at the box office hence Alien Covenant. What’s interesting here is that from the looks of things Scott has taken Alien: Covenant back to something a little more in the vein of Alien with the crew of a ship fighting the insect-like baddies and away from the more esoteric Prometheus, which I happened to like a great deal. Luckily, I also happen to like Alien a great deal too and couldn’t be more excited for this movie if I tried.

DC Entertainment tries to get their movie act together with the release of Wonder Woman on June 2, the fourth release of the modern DC movie universe. Originally appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and stealing the show, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) launches the Amazonian to the big-screen in her own movie set during WWI. My only concern for Wonder Woman is that she fought the monster Doomsday in Batman vs Superman and almost single-handedly took him down in an ultimate bad !#$ way. So whatever she faces in Wonder Woman has got to be as big or that movie might be disappointing.

The creators of The Mummy on June 9 are attempting to create their own franchise and so-called “shared universe” of movies with the Universal Monsters. Starring Tom Cruise not as the mummy but someone trying to stop her from destroying the world, early looks at The Mummy seem to indicate something like Mission Impossible crossed with Suicide Squad. The Mummy is the first movie of this interconnected film universe that will also include the likes of The Invisible Man, Wolf Man, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon in future films if this one’s a hit.

Spider-Man movies have had a really weird path to the big-screen the last few years. There were two Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man flicks a few years ago that failed to score billions at the office so that version was shelved. More recently Columbia Pictures, who owns the film rights to the character, had a new Spider-Man, this time played by Tom Holland, crossover in the Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War last year while still retaining the rights to make their own Spider-Man stand-alone films. Now comes that first film Spider-Man: Homecoming out July 7 this time with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) crossing over to this film.

A third Planet of the Apes film War for the Planet of the Apes is out July 14. The Apes film series is one of my favorites with the first chronicling why the apes got their smarts and the second what was happening with them just after the fall of man. This third film seems to be the story about the final apes vs man battle, with the winner taking claim to the planet. If you’ve seen the 1960s/1970s apes movies I’m sure you know how that works out.

Closing out the summer is the first movie based on the The Dark Tower Stephen King book series on July 28. Starring Idris Elba as the heroic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the evil sorcerer, the The Dark Tower movie series is being billed as a sequel or continuation of the books rather than a big-screen version of them. It’s hard to describe The Dark Tower without giving too much away, but there are alternate dimensions, monsters and magical powers and, best for Hollywood, if this first is successful a series of seven other books that can all be turned into films.

Wonder Woman (2017) movie poster



Wonder Woman (2017) teaser poster



Direct Beam Comms #33


Vice Principals Grade: C

Vice-Principals-HBOVice Principals, the latest HBO series from Jody Hill and Danny McBride of Eastbound and Down fame, looks, feels and has the same tone as that earlier series. And I supposed if you really dug Eastbound and Down you’re going to really love Vice Principals too. But if you thought Eastbound and Down was just okay you’re probably not going to be that into Vice Principles.

Here, McBride plays Neal Gamby, a vice principal from hell, running his South Carolina high school like some Soviet provincial governor where he deals out rewards and punishments to the students with little regard to the consequences. Walton Goggins (Hateful Eight) plays another vice principal Lee Russell who doesn’t get along with the Gamby and when school principal Welles (Bill Murray) steps down to care for an ailing wife both Gamby and Russell each think they’ll be the next principal. If Gamby is a bully Russell is a weasel willing to do anything if it means advancing his career.

But when the school board decides to go with an outsider as principal, Gamby and Russell team up to take her out and claim the position for themselves.

I think where Eastbound and Down worked where Vice Principals doesn’t is that the McBride character in Eastbound and Down was a self-centered foul-mouthed idiot that was believable in a show about an ex-ball player who’s been coddled all his life and was spat out of the MLB after he lost his pitch. It doesn’t work here for a character who has daily contact with the public, and their children, and could easily lose his job or be demoted for any one of things he does or says xin the first episode.

Vice Principals does have some funny moments and I can see myself watching the series — it is summer after all and there’s not a ton of new stuff to choose from — but it’s something I’ll probably watch off my DVR when there’s no other options rather than being excited about it and watching it live.

Halt and Catch Fire season 3 preview

Iron Fist preview

Defenders preview

Luke Cage preview

The Man in the High Castle season 2 preview

American Gods preview


Wonder Woman teaser trailer

Justice League Comicon footage

Kong: Skull Island teaser trailer

Doctor Strange trailer

The Reading List

Return of the Living Dead: The Chaotic Production Of A Zombie Classic

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1928: Stanley Kubrick is born
  • 1966: Batman the movie premiers
  • 1983: The TV mini-series V premiers
  • 1983: Krull opens in theaters
  • 1986: Flight of the Navigator opens in theaters
  • 1987: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace opens in theaters
  • 1990: The TV series Swamp Thing premiers
  • 2001: Planet of the Apes opens in theaters