LESSON #1: THE WONDER WOMAN EFFECT IS IN EFFECT— The groundswell of praise and celebration coming out of Wonder Woman is empowering, beautiful, and influential. On the inspirational side, I absolutely love Heidi Stevens’ column in the Chicago Tribune about the wished future being laid for young girls thanks to Gal Gadot’s heroine. Gorgeous piece and a must-read for new parents! Best of all, word is new reshoots, three months worth overseen by Joss Whedon covering for Zack Snyder, are coming to Justice League before its November release. Those begging DC/Warner Bros. to match Wonder Woman‘s virtuous tone might be getting their prayers answered.
LESSON #2: IS BILL MAHER OFF HIS ROCKER ABOUT SUPERHERO FILMS?— I get that superhero film fatigue is a real thing and that many claim the whole genre is exhausting and repetitively cookie-cutter. However, is it a contributing cause to the state of America’s culture? I love Bill Maher’s edge and I can understand the callouts for complacency within superhero films, but I think his “New Rule” rant dives too far. These are films, and fantasy films at that. I see people dressing in capes to have a good time. I don’t see people dressing in capes to be lazy or callous to real-world problems. Movies are escapes. They can stay that way.
LESSON #3: THE AMBITION OF UNIVERSAL’S “DARK UNIVERSE” WILL EXCEED ITS GRASP— I love what Universal Pictures is proposing on paper with its new “Dark Universe.” Their classic movie monster characters are timeless and fresh updates could do wonders. The talent assembled, while a tad past their primes, is still powerhouse enough to put butts in seats. Mark the date and my prediction that this franchise startup will not survive to full fruition. Its opening volley arrival of The Mummy is receiving scathing reviews following impatient twists. If it tanks at the box office, I wonder how strong Universal’s hubris is going to be to keep pushing this along. If it was me, I wouldn’t have started with The Mummy because it’s been done. Bring something new to the forefront and let The Mummy come in after. Where’s Brendan Fraser when you need him? Probably still spazzing and clapping drunk at the Golden Globes…
DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. He is also one of the founders and the current directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle. As an elementary educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends. Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Creators Media.