A Look Back at UltraForce #2 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Some time ago, I wrote and explored what would happen had superheroes been real and got involved with government leaders and the corporate media. Considering what has been going on for some time now, I hope that more readers would read the article and realize the conspiracy between political parties and corporate media is real and even dangerous. Did you even notice that in America, the Left-leaning media outlets have been distorting the facts about the riots involving the Marxist movement Black Lives Matter and the violent Antifa group? Also, did you notice that the liberal media distorted the meaning of the words peaceful protesters? Being a former local community print media publication journalist myself, I know why media outlets (whose owners and managers willingly get involved with those who wield power) would distort the news and insult the public’s intelligence. Really, the truth is that objective, truthful, responsible and professional journalism is shrinking.

Enough with the sickening news wave of negativity magnified by corporate media. It’s time to examine the superhero-government-media conspiracy followed by a fantastic conflict within the Ultraverse in this look back at UltraForce #2, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and art by George Perez (breakdowns) and John Statema (finished pencils).  

The cover of the limited edition.

Early story

The story begins with UltraForce member Ghoul visiting a place within the woods. He stops at a huge grave site of the Exiles and tries to communicate with his former teammates but to no avail. He only got glimmers from them. After expressing himself to nobody, he walks away.

Shortly after, UltraForce composed of Hardcase, Prime, Prototype, Ghoul, Pixx, Contrary and Topaz meet with US President Bill Clinton, US Senator Bob Dole, UN’s secretary general Boutros-Ghali and Blackrock of the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. As they discuss important matters together, Atalon makes his move against the civilized world…

Quality

The interactions between the members of UltraForce are richly written.

To start with, this comic book is a build-up type of story containing lots dialogue, exposition and explanatory pieces with not too much spectacle. That’s not to say this is a boring issue, in fact it still remained quite engaging to read. The very wordy script for this comic book was written with care and there were efforts made to keep the story cohesive even as it grapples with all the details for explaining. What the writer presented not only explained what is happening and why the world is being threatened by Atalon and his forces from underneath, the script also took its time in presenting the characters struggling with each other’s views while providing key moments that add some development to the personality of some of the characters (example: Prime’s interest in Chelsea Clinton reflected not only his teenage self but also his first encounter with her during the Prime monthly series). As far as storytelling goes, it succeeded in helping me understand the huge event transpiring and justified why UltraForce as a team is needed. When you think about it, Prime, Hardcase and Prototype already have major affairs of their own (especially when you read their respective monthly series) but Atalon is a major threat that requires the three to work together (along with Pixx, Ghoul, Topaz and the ever scheming Contrary).

More on the conspiracy between the superheroes, the government leaders and the corporate press, this comic book is more relevant than ever today even though superheroes do not even exist in real life. I like the moments when Contrary wanted access to government files which drew a strong reaction from Bill Clinton who in turn is being watched carefully by opposition leader Bob Dole. For his part, Hardcase expressed that his team does not want any power struggle between ultras and the government. And then Bob Dole stressed to Prototype that he works for Ultratech and said: I take it that you are a defender of the rights of the private sector?

Of course, the highlight of the writing is the dynamic interactions between the UltraForce members when they are on their own and struggle to work together due to their respective differences. The dialogue is very rich.

When it comes to visuals, this one is rather unique because it has breakdowns by the legendary George Perez with finished pencil work by John Statema. It’s not a pure Perez art work which is obvious but still I recognized the characters and there is still a high level of visual detail all throughout. Still a solid looking comic book!

Conclusion

This is a clever way of doing exposition…Bill Clinton learns more about Topaz and Ghoul but only the readers get a visual presentation.

Never mind the fact that it lacked spectacle, UltraForce #2 is still compelling to read mainly due to its strong writing, the memorable interactions between the characters and emphasis of the crisis that justifies the presence of the team complete with impact on the world. Not only that, this comic book event went the extra mile to emphasize crossing-over within the Ultraverse by including The Strangers (check out The Strangers #4 and Hardcase #4 for reference).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #2 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the limited edition costs $12.

Overall, UltraForce #2 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

The Lord is always watching us

The Lord is always watching us and there is simply no hiding from Him. What ever happens around the world, He sees them clearly. There is no doubt about that.

According to a news report by CBN News (with details sourced from KOIN News), the radical activists burned copies of the Holy Bible and an American flag in front of a federal courthouse in the city of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. While the protest movement involved with rioting and looting has lasted for months in America mainly due to the tragic death of George Floyd, the burning of the Bible is clearly very wrong and sinful.

That being said, it is unwise and wrongful for anyone to do the same thing committed by the radical activists. Burning the Bible is precisely what Satan wants to happen because he knows that when people know God through His Word, the evil one will be defeated.

Be assured that the Lord saw what the radical activists did in Portland, He saw the persecution towards Christians, He knows Christians got murdered, and He knows about the protesters’ invasion into a neighborhood.  Be assured that the Lord saw those acts of disobedience and wickedness!

Be assured that He will definitely punish the disobedient and the wicked in due time. When the Lord punishes, the punishment can NEVER be avoided!

Let’s take a close look at key segments of Chapter 28 of the Book of Deuteronomy regarding disobedience.

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.”

Deuteronomy 28: 15-16 (NKJV)

As seen in the above holy scripture, God is watching each and every one of us. While those who are faithful will be blessed, protected and loved by Him, those who are disobedient or rebellious or simply evil will be punished!

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this, take note of the words from the above scripture: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

Now we continue with Deuteronomy below…

“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit for your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doing which you have forsaken Me. The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew they shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heave it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.”

Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 makes it very clear that if you keep on committing evil and disobedience, you will not only be punished by the Lord for sure but you will suffer very severely. You guys think that radical rebellion and disrupting societies will make your world better? Wrong! You guys believe that defunding the police will make society secure and stable? Wrong! You guys believe that rebellion is the answer to everything? Absolutely wrong!

You are only digging deep holes for yourselves, holes that you will have trouble climbing out of later. Even if you managed to climb out of the holes, your suffering will only keep lasting for as long as you keep on being wicked and disobedient. You may not realize it now but the undeniable truth is that God created you and it is your destiny to realize your true purpose under Him, a destiny that you failed to realize because you limited yourself to your own understanding and because you got carried away by evil influences. You really need to study the Holy Bible (God’s Word) to start your path to become good and reformed under the Lord.

If you insist with sticking with disobedience and wickedness, then you will keep on suffering as revealed more in the Book of Deuteronomy…

“The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall only be oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.”

Deuteronomy 28: 28-29 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you joined rebellious movements and allowed yourselves to be manipulated by your political/social/radical idols? You practice idolatry? That is sinful! Who exactly are your idols right now? Has it occurred to you that your political/social/radical idols are serving Satan and they lied to you and manipulated you to be evil? Has it occurred to you that idolatry is exactly what Satan wants you to do to prevent you from realizing God is your true creator? Did your political/social/radical idol influence you to burn copies of the Holy Bible? You keep on being idolatrous, you will only keep suffering and you will never inherit the kingdom of God. Learn from the following scriptures below.

Absolutely not! However, I am implying that when an unbeliever offers a sacrifice to an idol, it is not offered to the true God but to a demon. I don’t want you to be participants with demons!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (TPT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (TPT)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen tor incline to their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.”

Jeremiah 44: 2-6 (NKJV)

More on the issue of disobedience and rebellion against authorities, the Holy Bible is clear about people’s relationship with civil authorities. Let me share to you that disobedience is simply wrong and God is always watching! If you are always rebelling and being disobedient, have you ever thought about having a clean conscience and being a good citizen? If not, the holy scripture below will enlighten you.

Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship. Those in authority are God’s servants for the good of society. But if you break the law, you have reason to be alarmed, for they are God’s agents of punishment to bring criminals to justice. Why do you think they carry weapons? You are compelled to obey them, not just to avoid punishment, but because you want to live with a clean conscience.

Romans 13: 1-5 (TPT)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you surely spent a lot of your energy and time believing in the falsehood that looting, rioting and destroying businesses and properties are just ways of reforming society. Wrong! You seriously believe it is right to harm people who don’t share your radical views? Very wrong! You seriously believe it is right to bring down crosses because of your distorted views about racism? Very wrong! What you have committed (and keep on committing) is wicked and unjust! You are trapped by evil and the spirit of rebellion! You should learn that Adam’s rebellion towards God is the root cause of the chaos in this screwed-up world we live in and God sent His Son Jesus to redeem the world. Be assured that the Lord will punish those who stay wicked as well as those who keep on committing injustice! Read the scriptures below…

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the despicable, the murderers, the perverts, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all deceivers, they will find their place in the lake of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21: 8 (TPT)

Lovers of God hate what is phony and false, but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully. Righteousness is like a shield of protection, guarding those who keep their integrity, but sin is the downfall of the wicked.

Proverbs 13: 5-6 (TPT)

There are six evils God truly hates and a seventh that is an abomination to him: Putting others down while considering yourself superior, spreading lies and rumors, spilling the blood of the innocent, plotting evil in your heart toward another, gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong, spouting lies in false testimony, and stirring up strife between friends. These are entirely despicable to God!

Proverbs 6: 16-19 (TPT)

Now the LORD gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”

But, O LORD of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause.

Jeremiah 11: 18-20 (NKJV)

Very clear is the truth in the Holy Bible that God will punish the wicked and the disobedient. Those who decide to stay wicked and disobedient are destined to be punished by Him very severely.

There is good news however…it is not too late to save yourselves in front of the Lord who Himself is just, gentle, forgiving and caring. Let me reach out to those who have been wicked and disobedient reading this…you can still save yourselves not within the screwed-up world we live in but in the presence of God. It is only through the Lord you can become Christian, get reformed and experience peace. Learn from the words of Lord Jesus Himself below.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mark 16: 16-18 (NKJV)

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

John 14: 27 (TPT)

How? Firstly, you have to stop being wicked and disobedient. Next, you must open your heart to the Lord. Next, you confess your sins straight to Him. Finally, you must submit to Him by getting born again and become Christian (a Child of God and a believe of Jesus). To be clear, you are not being forced here. Nobody is forcing you to submit to the Lord. The decision is all up to you.

As for the others reading this, if you have made your final decision to get born again, we can do it right here, right now!

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God as the Holy Spirit is in you! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward!

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Understand that your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your biological family. Always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. Take note that the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimately authority to follow. God’s Word is essential, sacraments and radicalism are not! Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved  and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Las Piñas City Police Force at Work – June 12, 2020

Las Piñas City Police Force at Work – June 12, 2020

Happy Independence Day, Philippines! The Las Piñas City Police Department continued serving the local constituents by means of securing places, implementing rules and helping those who need assistance. Check out these latest photo releases and read carefully the details written on each.

And remember, communities and residents need the police for their security. Do not be fooled by all of those social media rantings that the police should be defunded or dismantled that has been spreading lately. Those who push for dismantling their community’s police department CANNOT even protect their own constituents from looters, rapists, vandals and other criminal elements!

No matter what the critics say, there is no doubt that the police are essential!

Jun11a
SALAAM personnel PCpl Moli Esmail led by PMAJ ALLAN P MERCADO, Chief SCADS/PIO under the supervision of PCOL SEGUNDO C LAGUNDI JR, COP conducted PNP Good Deeds by giving food donation to homeless persons held at Tuazon Village, Brgy. Pamplona Uno, Las Pinas City. (source – Las Piñas City Police Station)

Jun11b
June 9, 2020/11:00 AM – The Las Pinas City Police Station under the supervision of PCOL SEGUNDO C LAGUNDI JR, COP represented by PCpl Joy Marinay led by PCPT ELEAZAR B CAMILING C, SIDMS together with PCpl Stephanie M Gano led by PMAJ ALLAN P MERCADO C, SCADS/PIO conducted E-Inquest held at SIDMS Office, Las Pinas City Police Station. (source – Las Piñas City Police Station)

Jun11c
On June 11, 2020 at 9:00 AM, in line with PNP Full Alert Status and Presidential Proclamation no 922 “Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines due to COVID-19”, elements of Sub-Station 6 led by PEMS Joel Caronan with three (3) others utilizing MC 446 under the supervision of PMAJ SALVADOR L GARCIA, Sub Station 6 Commander and under the strong leadership of PCOL SEGUNDO C LAGUNDI JR. COP, conducted Oplan Sita in relation to Implementation of General Community Quarantine along Marcos Alvarez Ave., Talon Uno, Las Piñas City. Said operation was terminated at about 11:00AM of same date with four (4) issued OVR, two (2) impounded MC and no untoward incident. (source – Las Piñas City Police Station)

Jun11d
On June 11, 2020 at about 10:00AM onwards, in line with PNP Full Alert Status and Presidential Proclamation no 922 “Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines due to COVID-19”, elements of Sub-Station 6 PCpl Lary Reparejo and Pat Efren Fernandez with two (2) augment personnel under the supervision of PMAJ SALVADOR L GARCIA, Sub Station 6 Commander and under the strong leadership of PCOL SEGUNDO C LAGUNDI JR. COP, conducted monitoring of Social Distancing, Mandatory Wearing of Facemask and Limitation of Mall Goers in compliance to General Community Quarantine at Robinsons Place, Talon Uno, Las Piñas City.  (source – Las Piñas City Police Station)

If you are in Las Piñas City and you need the help of the local police, call 85516401 or visit https://www.facebook.com/pcrstation4/


The above information and images were provided by the Las Piñas City Police Station for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website. 

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

A Look Back at Wonder Woman (2017)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of watching the movie and doing research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I just love watching superhero movies, especially the ones that were well crafted by the filmmakers complete with solid storytelling, sufficient spectacle as well as memorable performances by the hired talents (both behind and in front of the camera).

Of all the superhero movies made by the forces of Hollywood starting with 1978’s Superman, I can clearly say that 2017’s Wonder Woman is my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I did not limit myself to just DC Comics superhero movies. I saw all the X-Men movies and their spinoffs, almost all the Spider-Man flicks, almost all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and even the obscure ones. Along the way, there were some great superhero flicks that became modern-day classics like Logan and Avengers: Infinity War.

Still it is the Gal Gadot-led, Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman that I loved watching the most.

Let’s start with my retro review of Wonder Woman, the one film that arguably saved the DC Comics Cinematic Universe for Warner Bros.

WWposter1
The Wonder Woman movie poster from 2017.

Early Story

The story begins sometime after the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice during which Diana finds a long lost photograph recovered by Bruce Wayne. Then she remembers her past in Themyscira where she grew up as the only little girl among the women called the Amazons and her mother is none other than Queen Hippolyta. Concerned that the wicked Aries is still alive, Hippolyta’s sister Antiope trains Diana (initially in secret until they were discovered) to be strong, brave and more capable than their fellow Amazon warriors.

One day, Steve Trevor arrives in Themyscira becoming the first-ever man Diana ever met. Tension rises when the Germans (from World War I Earth) arrive on their island causing the Amazons to fight in defense. A lot of people lost their lives, including someone very close to Diana.

While interrogated with the Lasso of Truth, Steve reveals who he is and what he has been doing. He states that back in his world, World War I is ravaging the world costing many people their lives. This causes Diana to stand up and stop the war somehow (she believes Aries is responsible). Queen Hippolyta disapproves of Diana’s analysis. After privately meeting with Steve, Diana then starts her move for a mission to stop the war in Man’s World.

Quality

Screenshot_20200228-213823_YouTube.jpg
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the middle of German soldiers.

Let me start with the performances. Gal Gadot definitely IS Wonder Woman in this movie. Regardless of how many versions of Wonder Woman there are in comics, the Israeli actress truly captured the essence of Diana’s early development which includes her special place among the Amazons (note: she is the only Amazon who was born in Themyscira and grew up from infant into a mature woman), her fateful meeting with Steve Trevor, her entry into Man’s World and how she adapts with the events and people outside of Themyscira. Wonder Woman’s purity on saving the world, doing what is right and emphasizing love and compassion were all nicely translated into cinematic art by Gal Gadot. From doing the action scenes to saving people, speaking her mind among her fellow Amazons and interacting with others as she adapts with Man’s World, I really love Gadot’s work on bringing Wonder Woman to life. As her cinematic work is great, there is no doubt that Gadot will always be iconic to fans of the Queen of Superheroes and superhero enthusiasts in general in the decades to come right beside Lynda Carter (who played the icon on TV), Christopher Reeve (Superman), Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America). Meanwhile, the portrayals of Diana as an 8-year-old girl as well as a 12-year-old were perfectly done by Lilly Aspell (who is truly skilled with horse riding) and Emily Carey.

QueenDaughter
Lilly Aspell as young Diana with Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta.

Chris Pine is excellent as Steve Trevor who is portrayed to be very dedicated to his work, brave in what he does and still shows compassion instead of arrogance towards others. He also has great chemistry with Gal Gadot and, like in the comic books, their relationship is nicely translated on the big screen. Pine’s performance here is, in my view, the best superhero movie supporting role to date.

Screenshot_20200228-213746_YouTube.jpg
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor with Gal Gadot as Diana in disguise.

Connie Nielsen meanwhile is great in playing Queen Hippolyta and all throughout, there is always a sense of leadership complete with a touch of motherly love just like in the comic books. Her sister Antiope was nicely portrayed by Robin Wright as the one Amazon who taught Diana to be brave, strong and highly capable as an Amazon warrior.

Danny Huston, who played the lead villain in the 2009 movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played yet another military bad guy here but this time he’s a World War I German officer. He’s a villain with a purpose who not only fights for the glory of Germany but also strongly believes that war is natural and inevitable for humanity. In some ways, Huston’s Ludendorff reminds me Michael Shannon’s General Zod in Man of Steel.

Antiope
Robin Wright is excellent as Antiope.

When it comes to presentation, this film is Patty Jenkins’ 2nd movie as director (her debut was way back in 2003) and the great turnout of Wonder Woman as a high quality movie (as opposed to being a critical and commercial success) only proved yet again that the old saying in Hollywood – The director’s second movie is his/her best movie – is true. Jenkins, who also worked on television, not only prepared a lot to make this movie but also researched Wonder Woman, developed ways to get the most out of the cast members, tweak the written story of the film (by Allan Heinberg, Zach Snyder and Jason Fuchs) and, most notably, she led the production with a lot of passion. To put it short, Wonder Woman is a labor of love (and the No Man’s Land scene is iconic) that not only resonated with fans of the Queen of Superheroes but also with the film critics and moviegoers.

Regarding storytelling, I noticed that a key story from Wonder Woman’s origin in the comics (the contest of the Amazons) did not happen at all in the film. While there were die-hard fans of the icon who complained about it, I felt that the contest of the Amazons would have made this movie more complicated and surely would have lessened the impact of World War I as a key story element. Since the purpose of this movie was to emphasize Diana’s origin and her entry into Man’s World with a major mission, I believe that the contest of the Amazons can be made cinematically later in a future movie.

The way the story was told cinematically, it also captured Diana’s reactions to the events that happened around her. The scene in which she saw the village destroyed showed how death and destruction compelled Wonder Woman to accomplish her mission even though others find ending the war impossible. Along the way, the actors – specifically Gal Gadot – really added life into the narrative with their strong performances.

When it comes to on-screen humor, which is popular among moviegoers and is almost a requirement for most new superhero movies that come out, having it done by supporting players Lucy Davis and Saïd Taghmaoui was a clever move since it allows Gal Gadot to portray Wonder Woman without any performance disruption. Considering her short screen time, Davis as Etta Candy is really funny. The amount of humor in this film, in my view, was just right and never annoying.

Spectacle? Wonder Woman is loaded with action, stunts and exciting stuff! The action involving Wonder Woman was brutal and satisfying to watch, and Patty Jenkins’ use of slow motion on key moments was great (even comparable to John Woo’s past work) and at the same time not too excessive. The Themyscira battle between the Germans and the Amazons at the beach was engaging and strategically filmed. Also, it was fitting that the action ramped up nicely starting with the iconic No Man’s Land sequence. The final battle in the film, unsurprisingly, had lots of computer-generated images (CGI) which is understandable considering the fantasy element of Wonder Woman.

More on the action, I love the way Patty Jenkins had Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and Chris Pine perform the action themselves which all made their characters even more believable. Of course, there were certain moments in which stunt doubles were used to do the more dangerous moments on behalf of the actors.

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This happened just before the iconic No Man’s Land scene.

Apart from the core cast, a lot of the actresses playing the Amazons trained for several months not just to look the part but also to perform action sequences using weapons with actual skill. The stunt coordinators and specialists hired by the filmmakers deserve praise for contributing nicely on making the cinematic Amazons highly believable. This alone not only makes Wonder Woman stand out nicely among all Hollywood superhero movies but also reflects nicely what was portrayed in the comic books.

The production design is also top-notch. I love the scenic locations of Italy used for scenes set in Themyscira. The filmmakers also did a great job recapturing the look of World War I Europe from the historical pictures to the big screen. The costume designs were fantastic, and the standout designs were, unsurprisingly, the costumes of the Amazons which really made their fantasy culture look believable. The filmmakers decided to have much more colorful visuals instead of following the look of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.

On the music, the work by Rupert Gregson-Williams was great. His rendition of the Wonder Woman theme was very lively to listen to. The same can be said about the music he provided in the memorable No Man’s Land scene which had a nice build-up as Wonder Woman made her first full appearance in costume on the field. Other tunes played in the film suited the scenes well.

If there were any weak spots in this movie, it would be certain shots of action that were not filmed with precision. I’m talking about filming action scenes way too close to the camera combined with music video-style editing that’s supposed to make film look flashy. It’s not only disorienting, it also took me out of the movie.

Conclusion

Overall, Wonder Woman is one of the best-ever superhero movies ever made and easily my favorite of them all. It has an excellent balance between storytelling, character development and spectacle, and Gal Gadot gave the performance of a lifetime not only by bringing Wonder Woman into life in cinematic form but also emphasizing what the Queen of Superheroes stood for. As part of the current DC Comics Cinematic Universe, this movie stood out by having optimism and heroism as core themes (as opposed to the dark, gritty and even cynical approach of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) and, more importantly, by focusing strongly on Wonder Woman instead of building up for the Justice League movie (which was released months after this one).

Apart from high-quality production values and a strong creative approach, the cast and cinematic performances are easily among the best in the superhero movie genre. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is an excellent example of a supporting role that is engaging without ever overshadowing the lead role. By the end of the film, you will realize the impact that Queen Hippolyta and Antiope had on Diana’s personal development.

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Connie Nielsen made a great queen and mother in this movie.

Being strongly focused on heroism with optimism, director Patty Jenkins and her crew succeeded in making this film without ever succumbing to the extreme views of the Political Left in Hollywood and the loudmouth social feminists. When I see the battle between the Amazons and the German soldiers on the beach of Themyscira happen, I simply saw armed women defending their homeland not from men who intend to rape them but rather men who had no right to intrude in the first place. Even as there were scenes showing men in power in World War I Europe (putting Diana in a powerless position), there still was no feminist-inspired hatred towards men. Also the bond between Steve and Diana developing from friendship into a romantic relationship literally shut the door on extreme feminism.

As a Wonder Woman-focused story, this film succeeded on emphasizing the Queen of Superheroes to both long-time fans and mainstream moviegoers. This movie also had a nice mix of having a fantasy setting with Themyscira moving on to a historic setting with World War I Europe. On the origins of Wonder Woman herself, I don’t mind at all that the contest of Amazons was not told because this movie’s concept is already great to begin with and its running time of 141 minutes was just right.

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Gal Gadot will be remembered for a very long time for her excellent portray of Wonder Woman in cinema.

With all the greatness it was made with, I kept coming back to Wonder Woman when replaying superhero movies here at the comfort of home. In the cinemas back in 2017, I saw the film three times. Ultimately, I can say out loud that Wonder Woman is highly recommended and it is truly essential!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you are looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984, check out my preview and opinion about the first movie trailer.

Carlo Carrasco’s Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of watching the movie and doing research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I’ll just say it straight and clear – Avengers: Endgame is an epic superhero movie that, like its predecessor, is great to watch again and again although there are some noticeable differences.

For starters, the creative team led by the Russo Brothers came up with a story that somewhat defied most people’s expectations in relation to the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. Considering what happened in the previous film, it’s too easy for moviegoers to anticipate another uniting of remaining superheroes to defeat the omnipotent Thanos who wields the Infinity Gauntlet.

Quite daringly, the filmmakers came up with a story that focused more on time travel and time paradox. Since Endgame is still a new film, I won’t spoil the plot details and will focus on the technical aspects as to why the film is great.

On time travel and time paradox, Endgame felt somewhat self-aware by referencing other popular movies that had time travel concepts. The inevitable time machine gets set up obviously and when the superheroes went their own ways through time, Endgame suddenly felt like The Empire Strikes Back mixed with elements of Back to the Future. What do I mean? What I’m saying is that character development ramps up when the superheroes go their separate ways (not individually but by pairs or small teams) and their time travel exploits brought moviegoers back to the past, especially the unexplored segments of what we saw in previous movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The good news here is that the Russo Brothers did a great job telling the story even though the concepts of time travel and time paradox were so challenging to execute on-screen. Clearly the co-directors did their research to ensure that the story still made sense. Of course, there is the expository dialogue designed to explain to readers the film’s time travel concept.

When it comes to performances, just about each member of the cast performed nicely on bringing to life their respective characters. I felt Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man is his best since Iron Man 3. Still, I think the standout performer of them all was Mark Ruffalo who proved to be creative not only with his smart Hulk but also managed to deliver the solid performance the movie script required from him. Personally, this cinematic Hulk is the best one yet and we can forget about the mindless, rampaging Hulk of years ago.

Josh Brolin returned as Thanos and his performance was great (as expected) but in order to understand this film’s version of his character, you need to watch the previous appearances of Thanos from the past years especially with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

When it comes to superhero spectacle, Endgame delivered the fun stuff – the flying, the energy blasts, powerful strikes, collateral damage, cosmic powers, futuristic sci-fi technology and the like. However, I felt that Infinity War was much more loaded with action, stunts, special effects and superhero spectacle. This is understandable because the first 30-45 minutes of Endgame was more about story build-up, heavy dialogue and character development delivered with little action. The good news is that the pace of the film ran faster when the time travel sequences started. Of course, there is also the anticipated giant battle near the end of the film. A very action-packed final battle indeed although I felt the darkness (lack of light on the setting) somewhat lessened the impact.

What felt out of place in the final conflict was the obviously forced presentation of the MCU’s female superheroes appearing together looking like a team. I can say it clearly that the sequence, which looked nice, is nothing more like pandering to the believers of Political Left (and its radical feminist allies) among the moviegoers. If that is not a political correctness expression, then it’s a silly way to suggest that a cinematic A-Force adaptation is in the works.

Overall, Avengers: Endgame is an epic superhero movie that must be seen and it also justifies replaying Infinity War. While both Endgame and its predecessor are epic movies heavily loaded with spectacle as well as a lot of heart in the story and character development, the major differences go like this – Infinity War carried more shock value while this new movie was more about the pleasant surprises related to time travel.

Does Endgame deserve its massive commercial success? Absolutely! More than that, this film is also the undeniable climax of the 11-year buildup of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that started with Iron Man.

Where the Marvel Cinematic Universe will go next after Endgame will most likely be another uncharted territory of superhero cinema.


Thank you for reading. If you find this movie review engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com