Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Inside Man: Most Wanted (2019)

It’s somewhat rare to find a sequel that captures the magic of the original.  Often, then tend to be seen as cash grabs.  You get the original cast back together and have a somewhat similar story.  By the time anyone realizes what’s happened, you already have their money.  In many cases, the sequels are released straight to video.  Inside Man: Most Wanted is one such case.

I had seen the original Inside Man and liked it.  When our house was being tented, we came across this movie, which I had never heard of, and with good reason.  It had been released directly to video, which is never a good sign.  Add to that the fact that the cast and crew is all new.  There are some tenuous connections, like familial relationships, but there’s almost no connection to the original film.  Even the music is different.

It does have a similar setup, though.  Some people rob the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City.  (Instead of Nazi diamonds, though, they’re after Nazi gold.)  An expert hostage negotiator is brought in.  After a few plot twists, hostages are released and the negotiator doesn’t know who was really a hostage.

I’d go into more detail, but why bother?  The movie is like that Can I Copy Your Homework meme.  A promise was made to change a few of the details, but we all know what really happened.  They took a copycat movie and turned it into a sequel for a movie that didn’t really need a sequel.  I think that anyone involved in the original was smart enough to pass on this one.  You should do the same.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

It would seem that movies based on comic books are popular right now.  DC and Marvel have all sorts of movies lined up.  There’s a new Wonder Woman movie coming out   I saw a coming attraction for a movie featuring Harley Quinn.  Joker is out now.  Yes, we have another Joker origin story.

But have you ever considered the other origin story?  Have you ever wondered how the character of Wonder Woman came to be?  There was a man named William Marston who was in love with two women.  Those women served as the basis for Princess Diana.  This movie tells the story of how that relationship turned into one of DC’s most iconic characters.

It starts with a burning pile of Wonder Woman comic books and flashes back to when William and Elizabeth Marston met Olive Byrne.  She was a student enrolled in his class who would become their life partner.  The movie shows the relationship as being difficult, especially at first.  Elizabeth wasn’t as accepting as William.  However, the three of them went on to have several children together.

It’s hard to tell how accurate the movie is.  Most of the intimate encounters depicted are speculative.  It’s also a major motion picture, which means that liberties are taken, anyway.  I’m sure many parts were glossed over or altered for the sake of the production. (For instance, the movie hypes up the Marstons’ contributions to the lie detector.)

I’d like to say that the movie was informative, but it seemed to be more about the sex than anything else.  Very little of it is about the comic book.  We get to see William talk to  Max Gaines, who would get Wonder Woman accepted for publication at National Periodical Publications.  We also get to see that the comic book wasn’t popular among conservative groups.  But this is very basic.

In fact, I had to look up Wonder Woman to find that Marston’s Wonder Woman isn’t anything like today’s Wonder Woman.  His comics did have more for conservatives to be concerned about.  This is where the movie didn’t really do the story justice.  I would have liked to see more of that.  No, I’m not saying I’m totally disinterested in the polyandrous aspect of it.  It’s just that’s not what I was expecting.