Wonder Woman Review (Spoilers!!!)

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Not going to lie, I went to this movie anticipating that it wouldn’t be great. Batman v Superman was confusing, and I worried that like it’s predecessor, this would be a movie only DC fans would understand and enjoy.

I love that I was wrong.

 One thing I enjoyed was the way they weaved Greek Mythology into the movie.

Spoilers Ahead, so If you haven’t seen the movie, this is your last warning.

In the movie, Hippolyta, Diana’s mother, tells her a story of how Man and the Amazons were created. Her story showed that the Amazons came from the sea to teach Man love. It reminded me of the legends of Aphrodite. She was born from sea foam and the goddess of Love.

As the movie continues, the theme of Amazons representing love and compassion continues. When she fights Ares, she learns she is the daughter of Zeus, and a Goddess created to kill Ares.

At the end of the movie, she implies she is the goddess of love, and a guardian of Man.

I did a quick check, if memory served, Diana was the Roman goddess of the Hunt, and I wondered why they didn’t go more in that direction when they wrote the screenplay.

Diana was the goddess of hunting, wooded areas, and animals, But she was also the Goddess of Light. She was also the goddess of childbirth, healing, darkness, witchcraft, and the kingdom of the dead.

She was also the patron goddess of the lower classes, and one of her temples required a runaway slave to be the head priest.

Diana was a guardian, and Wonder Woman is a guardian.

This movie wasn’t a dramatization of mythology, but it was inspired by mythology in an interesting a different way that made the movie more interesting.

Festival of the Lion King

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Animal Kingdom just opened Pandora, and while everyone’s super excited, I fortunately missed the opening when I went to Disney World. Nothing against Pandora or Avatar, I saw the movie, It had a beautiful setting, but it’s not one of my favorites and this way I was able to enjoy the parks without the huge crowds.

The safari ride was interesting, In fact, one of the giraffes walked across the road, so we had an unexpected and amusing delay. The Dinosaur ride was funny, and I loved that the whole park was basically a huge zoo with a lot of interesting animals. But My favorite part of the park was a short play called Festival of the Lion King, basically a few highlights from the Broadway show.

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Loved the performances, and the finale

 

Review of Power Rangers (2017)

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Okay, so this review comes with a story. Anyone who watches Power Rangers, at least the ’90’s version, either loves it or sees only over the top acting, yelling, play-fighting, and villains that talk, yet their mouths don’t sync with the words.

In other words, I loved it when I was six, and then ignored or forgot about it.

When I saw the first poster for it, hung in a back hallway of an over sized movie theater, I jokingly turned to my friend and said we should go see it.

She thought I was a nut.

When I saw the first trailer for the show, for the first half of it, I was excited because I thought it was a reboot of the Breakfast Club.

Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when I realized it wasn’t.

Then, I showed the trailer to Friend 1.

And she really wanted to see it.

Time passes, I go to the Lego Batman Movie with a different friend and her son. When the Power Rangers trailer came on, I turned to my friend.

“The first time I saw this, I thought it was a Breakfast Club remake.”

“You mean it’s not!?!!”

Snickers of the man behind us… guess we were a little loud.

 

Fast forward to a week before the Power Rangers movie comes out, and another trailer comes out.

And another conversation ensued.

Me: “There’s another trailer for that Power Rangers movie. It’s pretty funny there’s a kid driving a transformers-looking dog, crashing it.”

Friend 1: “Zord?”

Me: “I don’t know what that is.”

Friend 1: “The dinosaur robots on Power Rangers are called Zords.”

Me: “…… I thought you never watched that show?”

Friend 1: “I haven’t.”

I still can’t get her to admit she used to watch the original show.

Finally, the day before I went to the movie, I did what I always do when going to a remake/ reboot / sequel, and watched the original. In this case, I watched the first episode of the original series on Netflix.

 

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It was awful. The costumed villains were obnoxious, and the bad voice overs were really distracting. I didn’t even want to see the movie, but I had already purchased the tickets.

As much as I wanted to hate the movie, from the first scene I was interested.

The next scene was absurd, hilarious, and very high school. Car chases (in the movie there are two) are filmed more chaotically than what’s I’ve seen, with the camera taking the view of a backseat passenger, watching the driver, and looking out different windows at what’s going on outside the car. It was jarring, but interesting, and different.

Most of the movie is character development, leading up to one huge climatic battle, so if you go hoping for non-stop chaos, keep in mind that its over an hour before you see a power ranger costume. Instead, go for the comedy.

Every one of the kids has something in their life that they have to come to terms with in the movie. Two lost parents, one is dealing with her family’s intolerance of her sexual orientation, one destroys his perfect future with a car accident. But the best was Kim’s. And once again I won’t give it away.

 

Beauty and the Beast

I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a while now, and the I’ll admit, I risked spoilers to read reviews, listen to cast interviews, I even googled images of the set and actors, curious about the costumes and how the cartoon would translate to live action.

Naturally, I went to the first showing I could squeeze into my schedule, which happened to be early Friday evening. First thing I noticed? It was a beautiful movie, very detailed in the backgrounds and the costumes.


The opening dance was fun, and showed the incredible narcissism of the prince. It was more dynamic than the cartoon this movie is based on, where the prince who was turned into a beast was a child when it happened.

Which brings me to the next thing I noticed about the movie. Unlike Maleficent, Cinderella, Pete’s Dragon, and Alice in Wonderland, the other movies Disney has done a live action remake of, Beauty and the Beast stayed very close to the original. As in, much of the same narration and even some of the same lines, but the movie is about an hour longer than the original, with small plot changes that make the story more engaging, more interesting, and funny.

Seriously, watch this guy during the movie and listen to what he says.


He was a fairly brainless sycophant in the original, but this version of Lafou is almost sarcastic in his admiration and delivers some of the funniest comments throughout the movie.

Another awesome addition to the movie.

Female empowerment.

Belle makes things happen. If she doesn’t like something, she finds a solution. Like inventing a washing machine so she could have time to teach a little girl how to read.

I’d love to continue talking about this movie, and may write a longer review for the DVD release, (May not, I’m absent minded) but it occurs to me that most of you may not have seen it and I’d hate to ruin this movie for anyone.

But seriously, I love the movie.

Tips and Tricks for a Disney Vacation

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I love going to the Disneyland Resort in California. The rides are for the most part not super intense. Most are dark rides that take you through different settings and scenes from Disney movies. Although some, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, were dark rides first and movies after.

There are a lot of awesome things to see and do in the parks, but here are some things I’ve learned that might help others plan for their trips.

There are lines to everything, lines to get in the park, lines to get on rides, and lines to shows.  But, the cast members (what the employees are called) are very good at keeping the lines moving, and the que areas are designed to be part of the line, with a lot of hidden details that are fun to find. Seriously, my favorites are the que lines at the Indiana Jones ride and the Jungle cruise. IMG_1336

If looking at the scenery isn’t really your thing, bring something that can keep you occupies for about 40 min of slow walking, because unless the ride stops, the line keeps moving.  I personally bring a camera, and a tablet with a few books downloaded on it.

For a full day in the parks, I carry a lot of stuff, usually in a backpack. I carry a camera, my phone, my tablet, a sweater, sun screen, and a water bottle. The backpack is not an issue, they allow them on every ride and even ‘intense’ rides have a place for a bag. However, the rides shake, the cars tilt, and the stuff can fly out. I’ve lost a few things before getting a backpack that zips closed and learned to keep everything in the sealed portion or firmly attached to the bag.

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Speaking of water bottle, here’s a trick. Bring a 32 ounce water bottle. You can request a large water at the quick service restaurants and it’s free. It will fit perfectly in a 32 ounce water bottle. It’s perfect for hot days, and way better than the drink fountains, which I would not recommend unless you like lukewarm city water.

I’ll post more tips and tricks in future posts, but what are your favorite little hacks to make theme park trips more enjoyable?

Dogs

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I read a news article recently about abused and abandoned dogs, and I liked a pet rescue group on Facebook that always seems to post about repeat foster dogs that are abandoned by multiple owners, and those stories prompted me to post about my own rescue.

To start, the story of why I adopted a second dog.

I have always adopted rescues, and I had adopted a puggle a few years ago. When I moved from my apartment complex, where she had lots of friends, to a house where she was afraid of the neighbor dogs, I considered getting a second pet.

I brought her with me to several adoption events, but she was afraid of all of the dogs at the adoption events and the  frdogs at the pound were afraid of her.  I did not want to get a dog that would fight with my current one, and she had a history of being mean to dogs she didn’t like. Although, until I took her to these adoption events, she got along with most dogs.

Finally, I went to one a few minutes before they were going to pack up for the day. It was an adoption event in a PetSmart, where the rescue group comes for a Saturday and  brings a few of the foster dogs.

When I walked in, the cashier asked if I was there to see the puppies. I was surprised when I walked to the back and found that they weren’t six month old  puppies starting to outgrow their baby cuteness into their adult cuteness, they were babies. I didn’t give them more than a glance, instead focused on a pit mix that was a little older.

As I read her information sheet, my dog started tugging on her leash. I glanced at her, to see what she was trying to get into, and found that she had shoved her face against a crate I had not initially noticed, on the other side of the puppies. I walked over to her and found a puppy separated from her siblings. The volunteer explained that she had recovered from her injuries, but her siblings had not and she was a little too energetic to be with them. She didn’t look energetic as my puggle licked her face, but she looked relieved to get the attention. As I spoke with the volunteer, her siblings were adopted, but no one even looked at her.

I learned that these tiny puppies were rescues. The owner of the mother dog called animal control and requested that they be picked up when they were approximately six weeks old. animal control contact the rescue group who took care of the puppies until they could eat exclusively solid food and adequately recovered from their injuries.

I didn’t intend to adopt a puppy, but my dog seemed attached, the puppy liked my dog, and that story broke my heart. So rather than getting an adult dog, which was my intent, I adopted a puppy.

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Now, puppies are super cute, but here’s what I learned about a puppy vs a grown dog. Puppies don’t always like their owners immediately. I can say with total confidence that the puppy loved my dog and tolerated me. I had never had a puppy so young, and for the first couple of months, she didn’t sleep through the night.

This is when I learned something that blew my mind. I had always viewed crate training as something that might be needed, but was a little mean, and only to be used when absolutely necessary. It only took a few nights for the puppy to learn she would go into her crate every night, and if she cried (She never has been much of a barker) she would be let out….immediately to go outside. When she did her business or didn’t and just wanted back in, she would go back in the crate. We would repeat this all night. Soon she only cried to be let out for potty, then when she was older and could sleep through the night, she developed a little yelp that let me know she wanted out for the morning. By then, she preferred her crate to sleeping anywhere else. During the day, her crate is left open and she goes in there to sleep, or hide. At night, she will find someone to close the crate door. But for those considering the crate, know that possibly the only reason she likes the crate is due to the fact that she is never locked in there when no one is home and she knows she can get out.

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She sometimes takes toys with her

 

She also views her crate as her space, and hides things in there, mostly things she steals from people in the house, like shoes. She gets upset when I go in her crate to clean it out or switch the bedding.

 

As she grew, she learned. She learned the basic commands and behaviors, and fully developed her own personality. She eventually grew attached to me, after I earned her trust, and she has a tendency to love nearly everyone she meets.

She loves to play

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And due to an accident, has grown to tolerate the vet office and even like some of the techs.

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She has personality, preferences, and things she doesn’t like. She still thinks she’s a lap dog, and loves to play in water.

 

I guess the point of this post is this:

If you want a dog, they are fantastic animals. They are loyal, playful, and adorable.

If you want a dog understand this: They have to be taught and positive reinforcement is better than punishing them. Dogs don’t always understand how the punishment connects to the behavior, if they realize they were punished for a behavior. If you punish a dog for peeing in the house, he might just hide where he pees.

If you want a dog understand this: The tiny puppy stage only lasts for as long as the can’t sleep through the night phase. If you want a puppy only because of how cute it is, Google the full grown version of the breed. Adult dogs are still super cute and loving, but a lot of dogs are surrendered to rescue groups and shelters because they aren’t puppy cute anymore.

If you want a dog understand this: That dog loves you. when you hurt them, it’s like when a loved one hurts you. Have patience, have compassion.

If you want a dog understand this: you will have a loving, loyal companion, someone who is always excited to see you (seriously, I get the same super excited greeting from my dogs when I come home from a long day at work as I do coming in from taking out the trash) Someone who loves to learn new games, and will always cheer you up.

Please, research before you decide to adopt, recognize the commitment you are making, and understand that dogs are not objects, they are living creatures who don’t deserve abuse.