Wonder Park

Wonder Park

By: Kevin Jordan

Only the best rides make you puke.

Based on the previews, I was expecting Wonder Park to be much worse than it ended up being.  I am probably cutting it some slack due to my man/nerd crush on John Oliver, but it exceeded my expectations.  More importantly, it kept my son’s attention, which is really the primary point of animated films.  Yes, they should be well-written and rendered also, which is why Wonder Park isn’t even in the same universe as films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseWonder Park is decently written (at best) with fantastic visuals, but gets pretty lazy in parts.  The worst offense – and this is unforgivable, even in a kid’s movie – is when the heroine sneaks away from her math camp group after staging a puking event on the bus.  Wonder Park asks us to believe that the teachers at a math camp wouldn’t bother to count the children as they got back on the bus.  No.  NO!  Now, I will let my son tell you about the rest of the film.

What movie are we talking about today?

Wonder Park.

Is this the most excited you have been for a movie?

No.

I thought you would be, because it’s an amusement park and you love Disneyworld.

I don’t love it. I like it.

What was Wonder Park about?

An abandoned amusement part.

So it’s abandoned; no one goes there?

No, because somebody did go to an amusement park.  There are animals there.

What do the animals do?

Run for their lives!!!

Or fly for their lives.

What are they running from?

Chimpanzombies!!

Is that why the park is abandoned?

Yes.

Where did they come from?

The darkness.   [starts singing] “…hello, darkness, my old friend.  I’ve come to talk with you again….helloooo…”

So the park is abandoned because chimpanzees came from the darkness?

ChimpanZOMBIES!!

Sorry, chimpanzombies.  Does somebody come to save them from the zombies?

Yes, June.

Who’s June?

She invented the park.  It came to life.

I would ride that ride.

Did she build it with somebody else or was it her own idea?

She built it with her mom.

If the park is imaginary, if she invented it in her room, how does she GO to the park?

When they went on a field trip, and her friend puked in the bus, and then they all ran out in the forest.  And June went out way far in the dark forest.

And that’s how she found it?

Yeah. Wonderland.

Did they have any rides at Wonderland?

Yeah.

What was the best one? Your favorite ride that they showed?

The one that she first ride-d.  The BIG one. The one that was the rollercoaster one.

I would not ride the ride that stopped like that.

What is their plan to save the animals and the amusement park?

Use a big spider thing.

There’s a big spider thing?

Yeah.

Why was there a big spider thing?

Well, it throws balls.  It throws balls three miles.

Is that a ride at the park?

Yes.

It sounds awesome.

Yes, it’s horrifying!  Also, they don’t have a measuring thing.

You mean the thing to measure how tall you are?

Yeah. They don’t have a height thing.

What animals were there

A monkey. A bear – a BLUE bear. A porcupine. A warthog.  A person. Chimpanzees.

You mean the chimpanzombies?

Yes!

Was that all of them?

No.  And two squirrels.

Squirrels?  You mean woodchucks?

Yes.  ….how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Squirrels. Woodchucks. Whatever.

As much wood as a huge roller coaster?

Yes.  Then at least he has dinner.

Who was your favorite character in the movie?

The bear.

Why?

Because he was sleepy.

He was sleeping the whole time?

No, just sometimes.

What was your favorite part in the movie? You said right after the movie, that you needed time to think about it. Have you thought about it?

My favorite part is………the marker.

The marker? Tell me about the marker.

It can…make things.  Like a bendy straw slide.

Well, that’s cool.  Is that how they make all the rides – with the marker?

No…Yes!

If we had given them markers instead of typewriters, Aquaman might have been worth watching.

How would you describe the movie to other kids?

I don’t know.  I don’t know the description.

Was it bad, good, too long, funny?

Kind of scary. Kind of happy happy happy.  That’s what the chimpanzombies say: happy happy happy!

If Wonder Park was a real park, how much money would you pay to go there?

2 million!

2 million dollars?!

2 million cents.  And 4 dollars.

And would you tell kids and parents that it’s a good movie to go see?

Yeah. I bet they’d like the park where the dad eats too much pizza and he blows the roof off the house.  Remember that??

I do remember that.

You get 3 words to say about the movie.  What are they?

Funny. Scary…….Wonder.

Or, Wonder. Land. And Fun.

Rating: Worth two million cents and four dollars, which we confirmed with the math teachers on the bus.

Bad Moms

By: Kevin Jordan Molli Jordan

We interrupt this programming to bring you a special message.

bad_moms poster

Over the past couple of years, women’s equality has been a major topic of discussion, especially in the entertainment industry.  Equal pay and lack of female leads have been two prominent issues in the film industry.  Then there’s GamerGate in the video game industry.  (If you haven’t heard of GamerGate, I’m not even sure you should go look it up.  I’ve read a bunch of stuff and I still don’t fully understand it.  It’s a combination of misogynistic assholes, corrupt game journalists, and extremist feminists all accusing each other of being terrible people…I think.)  Most recently, we’ve had to put up with the asinine narrative surrounding the Ghostbusters remake, in which Sony and many media outlets accused anyone not liking the film of being sexist because a handful of actual sexists started trolling the film when it was announced that the Ghostbusters would all have vaginas.  I have no idea why the sexists had to be such raging dicks about Ghostbusters (other than because they actually are raging dicks) because the women spend a good portion of the movie waving phalluses around.  I also don’t know why pro-women’s movement people would defend Ghostbusters for the same reason – giving a woman a fake dick doesn’t make them equal to men (also, it’s an atrocious movie).  Luckily, after two years of people getting all wound up over the wrong things, we finally have an example in film that actually is pro-women without pandering, lying, or making them drive giant penis-shaped trucks (sorry Furiosa) – Bad Moms.

The genius of Bad Moms is that it isn’t just a movie to empower women, though it primarily is that.  If you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t understand deadbeat dads or men that refuse to change diapers, this movie is for you as well…but in a whole different way.

[Jostling at the computer…wife cuts in.]

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Does anyone else see the irony in a man reviewing a movie, and talking about how it empowers women?

I read and edit all of the Number-9 movie reviews, and he tends to ramble.  Let’s just get to the point.

He’s not wrong.  Bad Moms is a great pro-woman, pro-mom movie.  It offers a wonderful peek into how moms often get the short end of the stick.  And I don’t mean from men, and I don’t even mean the dirty-diaper-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-clean-barf-off-my-shirt end of the stick.  I mean the pressure to simply do a good job.  Books tell you that you suck (“don’t drink caffeine while you’re pregnant, or your baby might have eleven toes”).  Articles tell you that you suck (“14 alternatives to watching TV this summer”).  Pinterest tells you that you suck (“77 bento box lunches that don’t include sandwiches”).  And other moms might not tell you to your face that you suck, but they’re sure as hell thinking it.  Being a mom can often feel like you’re doomed to fail, even when you’re doing the best you can.

Don't be these moms.

Don’t be these moms.

Bad Moms walks right up to those books and articles and people…and flicks them all in the nipple.

Or we do this.

Or we do this.

Bad Moms is realistically empowering.  This is key.  Empowering a female character does NOT mean dropping her into an established male role, handing her a penis-like weapon so she can shoot stuff, while her impossibly stupid, male secretary cowers in the corner.  Empowering a female character is building up her power IN THE SPACE SHE ALREADY OCCUPIES.  Ghostbusting is not relatable.  Tearing down entitled, insensitive men is funny the first couple of times (I will admit), but still does not drive home the point.  ….But a female character showing up at a 3-hour PTA meeting about food allergens in the bake sale on a Friday night with food spilled on her blazer, resulting in a mental breakdown and a wine binge….now THAT’s relatable.

Catharsis.

Catharsis.

Not to mention, Bad Moms is funny.  Fuuuuuuunny.  If you don’t laugh during this movie, then you’re probably the author of those condescending Pinterest articles.

I drank Diet Cherry Pepsi while pregnant.  My kid watched non-stop Paw Patrol all weekend.  And his lunches this week included cheese sticks and Fig Newtons.  ….I’m often just doing the best I can.  And my family is going to be juuuuust fine.  Including my husband, who (thank the Lord) is NOT a nincompoop.

Rating – Two enthusiastic tits up.  Because I actually put on a bra today.