Am I alive? Are we still here? Is this version of reality suitable for small children? These questions and more await you in this edition of The Weekend in Review.
This was a "Move-In" weekend...
I awoke on Saturday morning to find myself in a new house, in a new neighborhood, with new roommates. I have a bathroom with a window that looks out onto a stunning vista: a cinderblock wall. I wonder what old secrets exist between my house and this wall. I may never know. But I will contemplate the possibilities whenever I brush my teeth, which is twice a day.
I've moved nearly ten times in as many years, and in that time I have shed all of my cells and regrew new ones. But I feel very much the same, only older and more worn out. It's funny how the human body melts and flops about, like decomposing meat. Not "ha-ha" funny, but sort of "I can't help but laugh because if I don't I'll just start sobbing in the corner of the room" funny.
As a commencement to this new living arrangement, my roommates and I took in a matinee viewing of Patty Jenkin's Wonder Woman. As Steve Foxe--one of the aforementioned new roommates--said after our showing, this film is one of the few "pure" superhero movies of recent memory. I heartily agree. It's refreshing to see a DC Comics character start their superheroic journey from a place of inherent goodness, without all the navel-gazing, soul-searching, should I, shouldn't I nonsense. Pre-Zack Snyder, this wouldn't have been such a wild idea, but we have a Superman now who functions more as an apathetic god-child, rather than the Man of Tomorrow. I know there are fans of Superman's new direction (just as there are fans of Donald Trump), but as for me, I have never been interested in the Whys so much as the Hows. Why would Superman choose to be a hero in modern times? Well, because he's Superman, that's why. That's actually the whole point of the character. But how? How can he do it? That's where the meat is. Director Patty Jenkins (and writer Allen Heinberg) understand this. Zack Snyder does not.
This is because Zack Snyder is a Why-Director and Patty Jenkins is a How-Director. Jenkins establishes Wonder Woman as a hero from Square 1. When her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) or her hot boyfriend Steve (Chris Pine) tell her she cannot do a thing because it is not worth her time (or downright impossible), she doesn't argue with them, nor does she question her role in the proceedings. She simply does the right thing. She acts. This is a trait she should share with Superman. After all, Superman is known for saying "There's always a way." Always a way to save people, always a way to win the day, always a way to stand by your convictions.
The movie of course falls into the familiar traps of superhero cinema. There is an eye-glazing CGI fuckfest of a sequence at the end of the film, the outcome of which muddies ever so slightly the main thrust of Wonder Woman's mission. These big stupid fights are unfortunately to be expected with these kind of films, but every now and then we get something different. Remember in Doctor Strange (2016) when the Sorcerer Supreme essentially annoyed the bad guy into giving up? The point is, not every superhero has to beat the ever living shit out of their antagonist in exactly the same way as the dozen superheroes that came before him or her on the film slate.
And now onto the questions I posed initially. Am I still alive? It's impossible to tell, and really none of your business. Are we still here? I'm not even sure where "here" is, but I cannot even prove my own existence, let alone yours. And is this version of reality suitable for small children? Absofuckinglutely not.