How DC Got the New Wonder Woman Movie Right, Based Marvel’s Proven Yet Secret 3 Point Formula

I know the exact science behind why Wonder Woman is an amazing movie…

Imagine if someone finally released the top secret recipe for Coca-Cola or for the Colonel’s KFC chicken… Well, I’m that guy, but for releasing Marvel’s secret movie formula.

For those of us who have kept up with all comic book movies for the past decade, we know that Marvel seems to always just easily crank out really good super hero movies. Meanwhile, DC hadn’t figured out how to really get it right. Think about their superhero movies last year:

Batman V. Superman? It was entertaining, but ultimately problematic.

Suicide Squad? Eh… kind of a mess.

So did DC just luck out with their wild success of Wonder Woman? Nope.

They simply (and maybe even accidentally) used the same proven yet secret formula that Marvel’s been using all these years:

1)      Character Arc of the Super Hero: It’s fundamentally important for the audience to see a flawed protagonist who evolves over the course of the story. Remember how in Batman V. Superman, Batman was the same brooding, disgruntled billionaire while Superman was the same perfect alien? Neither characters individually evolved. We instead want to see an imperfect character who is forced to positively evolve. We want to see character growth.

2)      Engaging Arch Nemesis. The superhero is only as interesting as the bad guy. Just as an imperfect superhero is crucial in order to engage an audience in the protagonist, that superhero relies on a villain who spiritually contrasts and compliments their struggles. Being evil isn’t enough. We need to see a memorable arch nemesis who is the perfect foil for our imperfect hero.

3)      Genre Hybrid: Marvel knows that their super hero movies aren’t simply super hero movies. Instead, each one is ultimately a different genre, disguised as a superhero movie. Ant-Man is a heist movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a government conspiracy movie. Using that same concept, Wonder Woman is a World War II movie, which also contains strong elements of Greek mythology.

This secret formula is the reason Marvel’s movies do well. And finally, DC has figured it out.

Seriously, who isn’t excited by the new Justice League trailer? It looks like they will be applying the Marvel formula to all their movies from now on. I’m happy that DC is back on track.


Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

14 weeks.

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

Dear Holly,

You now depend on Jack to entertain you each evening while Mommy and I finish preparing dinner. These days, we are able to lay you down on a blanket while Jack finds new ways to amuse you.

Earlier this week, Jack discovered his Batman mask from his Halloween costume two years ago in his closet. He also grabbed his favorite blanket and decided to “fly” around you, flapping his “cape” and regularly stopping abruptly in front you to proclaim, “Beware!”

From there, he would present you with a dramatic pause, as if to solicit a response of possible intimidation.

Each time, you instead presented him with a look that implied, “Okay, go on… What else ya got?”

Anytime he would stop pretending to be Batman for any reason, like getting himself some water or a snack real quick, you would make it known that he needed to return to his job post.

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

You would turn your head from side to side, looking for him, then letting out a squeal to communicate to him, “Hey, come back… You have work to do!”

I think your brother is surprised that even though he is just randomly joking around, he is actually playing an important role in the family: His ability to entertain you is an asset; more so than he might realize.

And last weekend when Nonna and Papa were here, Jack recruited me to help him carry you on his shoulders. With my assistance, he carried you the distance from the living room to the dining room, and back, several times.

This shouldn’t have been something you liked. It didn’t make much sense that you went along with it and liked it. I can clearly see how your sibling relationship is developing with Jack.

His obscure ideas again prove that even when Jack doesn’t take himself seriously, you often do.



Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

Parental Guide Summary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Parental Guide Summary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This review today is written for parents who are wondering if Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice might be too inappropriate for their children to see.

Despite what most critics are apparently saying, I personally actually enjoyed the movie.

And to serve my Internet followers, I decided to take good notes during the entire movie, to help inform parents of any potentially offensive material.

Here’s the video version I made, if you prefer:

Of course, to keep this family friendly for this review, I’ll censor out some vowels so we all have a clear conscience about it.


So let’s get started with profanity. For a gritty PG-13 rated movie, I actually feel the language was a bit light:

2 vain uses of G*d d*mn

2 vain uses of G*d

1 vain use of Chr*st

1 vain use of J*sus

1 vain (not literal) use of hell

1 vain use of d*mn

2 uses of son of a b*tch

1 literal use of b*lls, referring to the human anatomy

1 literal use of sex trafficker

As you can see, this movie only has a few token “cuss words”. Instead, it’s the vain uses of God’s name, as well as terms revolving around eternal damnation, that would be deemed offensive by many religious parents.


As expected, this movie is over 2 hours of constant action and violence. The death count is easily in the dozens; not to mention the thousands that lose their lives during a building collapse.

However, very little blood is shown. This is not a gory movie, which keeps it from being R-rated.


While there is no explicit nudity or overtly sensual scenes, situations are definitely implied at few times.

-A naked male corpse is shown, with the pelvic area censored by the person observing the body.

-A group of rescued yet still captive human trafficking victims are shown behind bars, while Batman brands the trafficker himself after Batman chains him to the wall.

-Bruce Wayne is shown waking up with an unknown woman in bed, as to imply a casual sexual relationship, though the woman’s face isn’t even shown.

-There is also a scene in which Clark Kent casually walks in on Louis Lane in the bathtub. The bathwater censors her, but by the end of the scene Superman joins her while fully clothed, as the
camera pans away to imply more is about to happen.

-Wonder Woman’s attire might possibly be deemed as too revealing by conservative parents.

Religious Blasphemy:

A reoccurring theme of the movie is the question, “Is Superman good all the time?” However, God’s name is often substituted for Superman’s name when this topic comes up.

Similarly, Lex Luther at one point says, “God is as good as dead.” (Of course, he is referring to Superman; comparing him to God.)


Ultimately, this is a dark, PG-13 rated movie. However, it’s not gory or explicit. The language easily could have been much worse.

Based on this information I’ve provided for you today, I’ll let  you decide as the parent, what age is appropriate for a child to be to see this movie.

Dear Jack: You were Legitimately Worried People Would Think I’m Superman

5 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: You were Legitimately Worried People Would Think I’m Superman

Dear Jack,

Last Saturday, as I was paying for parking so we could attend the Nashville Boat & Sportshow, as well as Monster Jam 2016, you and Mommy stayed in the car.

(Fortunately, we lucked out, and only had to pay $13 to park. In downtown Nashville, that’s a good deal.)

I was wearing my new Superman baseball cap that you and Mommy got me for Christmas. As I was outside in the parking lot finalizing our parking space, you asked Mommy, “What if people think Daddy is Superman because he’s wearing that? What if they start crowding around him?”

This was a legitimate concern to you; that the tourists of downtown Nashville would be stopped in their tracks by the presence of the real Superman.

How would they spot me? Because of my Superman logo on my hat; as opposed to my shirt, were the Superman logo is usually displayed.

Never mind that Superman would be more like 6’4” and 220 pounds, whereas I’m 5’9” and 155 pounds.

Still, in your mind, I could pass as Superman.

If I allowed myself to, I could let that go to my head.

I also learned that same day, that you believe Batman, as well as Superman, are not simply fictional super heroes, but actually real people.

As you saw the “Batman building”, as we Nashvillians call it, you proclaimed, “Daddy, I wonder if Batman really sleeps up there on top of the Batman building?”

So in your mind, not only is Batman a real person, but he happens to live in the center of downtown Nashville.

I love the way you think. I love the thought of a version of reality in which not only legendary superheroes walk among us, but also where I, your Daddy, could possibly be mistaken for one.

But in your mind, it works. I am Superman.



Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

4 years. 

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

Dear Jack,

A week ago was your actual 4th birthday, though your birthday party with your friends was the day before on Saturday.

That meant you had already opened your presents from your friends by the time Mommy and I let you open your gifts from us the next morning at our house.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

Sort of half-jokingly, I suggested that before you got started opening our gifts to you, that you should dress up in the super hero costume that your friend Madison had given you. (We actually let you open your gifts in front of your friends at your party; even though that’s nearly considered weird these days!)

Dear Jack: We Actually Let You Open Your Presents At Your Birthday Party

You didn’t hesitate.

To make things even better, you happened to already be wearing your Batman pajamas, which had served as your Halloween costume just a few weeks ago.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

So by the time you put on your costume, it apparently made you Super Captain Batman Jack!

It’s like you honestly believed that the red cape made you fun faster, because you were trying it out right, getting into super hero character before you sat down to open your presents.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

I want to be clear, you did not remove one item of the costume the entire time, including the mask.

Even if you never wear the costume again, which after seeing this, I’m pretty sure you will, it was worth Madison picking out this outfit for you just for this event alone.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

It was a relevant gift for more than one reason. Turns out, one of the gifts Mommy and I got for you was a Spiderman sleeping bag.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

Not only have you been using it to sleep on this week, given that everything is moved out of our house now since we’re moving out to live with some friends as our new house is being built, but I also envision your new Spiderman sleeping bag to be what you sleep on when we “go camping” in our backyard of our new house next summer.

Dear Jack: Dressing Yourself As A Super Hero To Open Your Gifts From Family

And fortunately, your mechanically-minded Uncle Andew was there to help put together a Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest maze; it took him only 2 hours, whereas the box warned it would take 3 to 4!

You provided great entertainment for our family as you opened your “Mommy and Daddy” presents. You really did make the best Super Captain Batman Jack that I have ever seen!



Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

3 years, 11 months.

Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

Dear Jack,

I don’t know who as enjoyed this Halloween more… you or me.

This is the most excited about “trick or treating” I’ve been since I can remember. I have been telling my coworkers all week how excited I have been for this day.

You were Batman, of course; dressed in $8 WalMart pajamas and a $4 Kroger mask.

I want to compliment you on the fact you actually said “trick or treat” before accepting candy from the dozen or so random households we accepted candy from tonight.

Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

Mommy and I threw on random costume hats we had lying around the house so that our whole family could technically be dressed in costume for the night.

Going “trick or treating” really is so much fun… and so random.

I really like your choice of Batman. Your costume was very well respected among the houses we visited; as well as among other trick or treaters.

Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

Today was also special in that I came to visit you at your school during your lunch. I enjoyed hanging out with you and seeing your friends dressed up. I truly appreciated the fact that your (girl) friend Eiley was dressed as a Power Ranger.

Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

You even drew a special “Batman SUV monster truck” today for the occasion; which you insisted I cut out for you, to serve as a form of a toy.

Trick Or Treating 2014: Halloween As Batman

Not to mention, you also have been making Play-Doh pumpkins, which you’ve been moving around with Lego bulldozers.

I was telling Mommy how much I enjoyed tonight and look forward to the Halloweens to come in the next several years. We had such a fun time together as a family.

Most of all, I loved seeing how excited you were to “be Batman.”




P.S. Below is an inforgraph on the history of pumpkins; as I see relevant on Halloween.

pumpkins infographic

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Dear Jack,

This Saturday (as well as Sunday) morning I woke up to you and Mommy laughing and playing on the couch.

You had created a pick-up truck out of couch cushions and were taking your friends to the hospital. (Mommy was the doctor.)

One of your friends was a small white bear you named “Baby Diaper”. You explained to Mommy:

“Can you help my Sweetie? A monster bit her!”

I also enjoyed seeing how you helped Mommy with Donatello’s visit to the doctor: “He has a tummy ache. I think he needs water. I’ll get him a water balloon.”

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Then you then ran over to the corner of our living room where you’ve been stashing the helium balloons you got from a couple of weeks ago when we paid the earnest money for our new house.

You then proceeded to “pour” water from the “water balloon” into Donatello’s mouth.

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Classic! I love that creativity.

You’re also proactive: You decided to go ahead and try on your Halloween costume.

Recently at Kroger you found a $4 Batman mask and wanted Mommy and me to buy it for you. We agreed, based on you being Batman for Halloween.

Then last week Mommy found some $7 Batman pajamas from Wal-Mart…

Therefore, I would like to say, thank you for choosing the cheapest Halloween costume so far! Just eleven bucks, total.

That is so practical and frugal. I am proud.

You practiced your Batman faces for us; both “happy Batman” and “serious Batman.”

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

It’s good that you’re really spending some time already getting in to your Batman character. I think that might count as “method acting.”

This is what goes on in our house. I’m assuming that in every other house with a 3 year-old little boy in it, there are different yet related stories that occur.

As far as our house goes, it’s about drinking from water balloons and practicing for Halloween. For this week, at least.