Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Tallahassee

Zombieland is a grim film. It provides a commentary on society’s ills, and demonstrates humanity’s failure to manage an apocalypse of grand proportions contrasted against civilized utopian values. Cinematic enthusiasts do well by taking this movie seriously. Queue the vinyl record scratch. Yeah, right. Are you sure we’re talking about the same movie here?

Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee

If you’re a new reader to Wednesday Warriors, this series is not about stuffy interpretations of male movie protagonists. No, it’s about having fun! And what better way to have fun than to shine the spotlight on Tallahassee, the lone wolf, undead Zombieland killer?

Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and go for the jugular. When we first meet Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), he’s not your typical zombie exterminator. He likes Twinkies. He’ll do anything to find Twinkies. And his idea of a party is feasting on a plateful of Twinkies. Did I say he likes Twinkies?

Zombieland
Zombieland

How’s that for a good start? Oh, and he’s real good with a shotgun. And a Louisville Slugger. And hedge clippers. A little off the top is what he always says to an oncoming zombie threat.

To his benefit, Tallahassee does like kids. On his journey to find the last Twinkie, he has travelling with him an insecure teenager called Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to reach Ohio, Wichita (Emma Stone), a kick-ass chick whose attitude is more suitable with a ship full of sailors, and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who is good at taking advantage of other people’s good nature.

Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson

Also, when it comes to working with others, Tallahassee has only one rule: stay out of the way. He has a method to dealing with the undead that may not be as pleasant as one might expect. He actually has fun killing them. In one instance, he rings the dinner bell to attract the wrong kind of attention. But it is nothing that a shotgun can’t cure.

Then there’s the matter of his anger. He doesn’t have any. He’s one of the most laid-back, zombie-fighting characters on screen. When confronted by a huge horde, he’s smiling through the whole thing wondering if he could get a selfie with one of them before he bashes their brains with a two-by-four.

Enjoy the little things.
Enjoy the little things.

Yet, if anyone thinks Tallahassee lacks compassion, let’s not forget he is the one who keeps falling for Wichita and Little Rock’s dirty tricks to surrender his gun. He has to help. His nature dictates he has to aid those less able to help themselves. He has that compassion running through him he’d rather not let anyone else see, but he hasn’t a choice when the situation calls for it. He cares about others, even if he shows otherwise.

And you know what? I like Tallahassee. He’s a courageous character. There’s no lying with him. Either you’re for him or against him. None of that wishy-washy “oh, I don’t think we should be doing this” stuff with him. He takes his hits and keeps moving forward.

Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse

Have you seen Zombieland? What do you think of Tallahassee?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Gwen Stacy

Everyone knows Mary Jane Watson. She’s Spidey’s girl in the original Spider-Man trilogy of the early 2000’s. She’s also the redhead who set Peter Parker’s heart aflutter. A decade later the web slinger’s at it again, but this time he has Gwen Stacy on his mind. Unlike Mary Jane, who Peter fell for in an emotional whirlwind, Gwen’s intellect far supersedes even that of Spider-Man’s for her to become Peter’s one-and-only.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

For today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday, let’s have a look at this gorgeous blonde, and her talent for helping Spider-Man, spoiler-free.

In the two The Amazing Spider-Man movies, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) grabs Peter’s attention from the first time the audience sees them together. The daughter of George Stacy, the city’s police chief, she doesn’t give bullies a choice when she defuses a situation. As opposed to threatening or cajoling, she uses psychology. The crowd disperses and she becomes a quiet hero.

Her strong ability to use her mind and remain focused makes her the perfect girl for Spider-Man. His wild lifestyle, staying up all hours of the night, coming home smelling like something the cat dragged in dictates his need for someone to match his extrovert existence. Gwen’s cool demeanor calms the superhero.

Gwen Stacy
Gwen Stacy

That’s not to say their conversations lean toward boredom. On the contrary, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) loses himself around the heart-stopping beauty. They want to communicate, but most of the time, he jams up his tongue so bad against the roof of his mouth that he rattles off nonsense. Gwen understands him, though. In his incoherent babble, she still knows what he’s saying.

During defeats, Gwen comforts him, tends to his wounds, and provides him moral support when everyone else seems to have left him. And why not? What drives her is her outlook. She’s hopeful, always looking to the future. In a speech to the graduating body, she says:

“It’s easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days where you feel all alone, and that’s when hope is needed most. No matter how buried it gets, or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope. Keep it alive. We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope; people need that. And even if we fail, what better way is there to live? As we look around here today, at all of the people who helped make us who we are, I know it feels like we’re saying goodbye, but we will carry a piece of each other into everything that we do next, to remind us of who we are, and of who we’re meant to be.” ~Gwen Stacy

Like she said, it’s easy to be happy during sunny days. It’s during those dark days that hope tends to flee. Gwen figured that out early in life. If only everyone else could, too.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What do you find compelling about Gwen Stacy? How does she differ from Mary Jane Watson?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombieland Rules

I love Zombieland. I can watch that movie several times in a row without getting bored. I also love the little things about it. I love how Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) loves Twinkies. What’s not to love about a zombie slaying Twinkie lover who just as well bash the brains of the undead than have a civilized conversation? Have I overused the word love yet? That’s why for today’s Monday Mayhem series I want to write about the Zombieland rules. Do you know what they are? Have you ever heard of them? If not, you’re in luck. Have a gander below to find out what they are.

The Zombieland way
The Zombieland way

Rule #1—Cardio: Do you want to survive the zombie apocalypse? Get in shape. Zombies nowadays are speed demons. They can dash from one side of a football field to another in seconds. Best keeping one step ahead of them than finding yourself served as the main course to a zombie buffet. No one wants that.

Rule #2—Double Tap: Here’s how this works, one of the undead races towards you and you blast it in the head. Don’t be cheap. Unload another bullet in their rotting corpse for insurance. You’ll never know you killed it unless its jaws lock on your jugular. By that time, it’ll be too late. Use another bullet. You’ll be glad you did.

Rule #3—Beware of Bathrooms: One thing’s for sure, when a zombie’s after you, you don’t want to have your pants down. Avoid bathrooms. Toilets kill. Zombies can smell you a mile away. You want privacy? Get lost in the woods with a small shovel. Once you’re done, pile the dirt and disappear. You don’t want that stuff getting on your shoes to have a horde after you because of improper waste management.

Beware of bathrooms
Beware of bathrooms

Rule #4—Seatbelts: If anything’s certain during the zombie apocalypse, you’ll be running hard. The second point of certainty is you’ll be driving fast. You’ll always want to have your seatbelt firmly secured around your waist. The highways will have obstacles everywhere and if you should so hit one of these obstacles, you’ll be taking a header through the windshield on to the highway ahead. Always wear your seatbelt.

Rule #7—Travel Light: Do you think you’ll have time to pack your bags and hit the road when zombies are knocking at your door? Of course not. You won’t have enough time to think, let alone pack. Much like an expectant mother, it would be a good idea to keep a knapsack prepped either at the foot of the door or the window. You’ll want to carry guns, knives, bullets—you know—the essentials. Rope will come in handy, too. But the reality is once the zombies spot you and chase you, you’ll have little else to do than run. You can’t run fast if you’re packing heavy.

Rule #11—Check the Back Seat: Have you ever seen those Horror flicks where the girl dives into the driver’s seat of her car after having ran a mile from an unknown entity? Can you tell me what happens next? Right, someone or something hops from the back seat and makes her into a side serving for lunch. Always, always check the back seat of your car.

Always check the back seat
Always check the back seat

Rule #16—Limber Up: The worst thing that can happen to you when running as fast as you can from those maggot bags is pulling a muscle ten feet into your escape plan. How could it happen in the first place? You didn’t limber up. You see, during the apocalypse, you won’t have time to fall on your backside because you’ll be too busy running. You’ll need to keep in shape if you’re to avoid the dreaded mandibles of the undead latching on to your leg. While you’re doing other things, throw in a few jumping jacks. Better still, toss in several pushups. After all, a limber human is a saved human.

Rule #17—Don’t be a Hero: Everyone loves a hero, but how great is a hero if said hero ends up as a meal? Let’s admit it, pulling the trigger on a zombie and watching its brains splatter against the wall is fun. And if you save someone in the process, it’s a thrill. However, if it’s you against them and you have nothing to gain, better save your ammo and run. Those few seconds contemplating how glorious zombie brains would look all over the dash could have gone to better use like, hightailing it out of there while you still have your life in your hands. Always run.

Rule #32—Enjoy the Little Things: Remember your first crush? Remember how it felt learning you’d passed your worst subject in school by the skin on your nose? Remember your first Twinkie? In the hustle and bustle of a killing the undead, we’ll tend to forget the little things that make life special. Take a moment between kills to reminisce about life’s little wonders, about the beauty that was and the joy you gain when thinking of the simple things. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll also find the last Twinkie on earth and know what I mean.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What are the official Zombieland rules? Where can I find them?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Wichita

Zombieland is a grim film. It provides a commentary on society’s ills, and demonstrates humanity’s failure to manage an apocalypse of grand proportions contrasted against civilized utopian values. Cinematic enthusiasts do well by taking this movie seriously. Queue the vinyl record scratch. Yeah, right. Are you sure, we’re talking about the same movie here?

Emma Stone as Wichita
Emma Stone as Wichita

If you’re a new reader to Women Who Wow Wednesday, this series is not about stuffy interpretations of female movie protagonists. No, it’s about having fun! And what better way to have fun than to shine the spotlight on Wichita, the teenage Zombieland killer?

Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and go for the jugular. When we first meet Wichita (Emma Stone), she’s not a very nice human being. She lies, she tricks others into giving up what’s theirs, and she’s particularly sneaky. In fact, if I were a person of vulgar persuasion, I’d describe her as a female dog. But I’m not going to do that. I’d rather focus on the positive aspects of her personality than tear her down a few sizes.

How’s that for a rough start? So far, she doesn’t possess that many redeeming qualities to cry home about. There’s gotta be something that can spark an interest in appreciating why anyone would keep her around.

Wichita's Mossberg 500 shotgun
Wichita’s Mossberg 500 shotgun

To her benefit, Wichita does like guns, I suppose. She sports a Mossberg 500 shotgun with rear and forward pistol grip, and side-saddle shell holder, which she utilizes throughout the entire movie. Her backup is a Walther PPK pistol. She uses it to threaten Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a Twinkie-loving zombie-slayer, only after he threatens her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) first.

What’s that say about Wichita if she doesn’t want to use any other gun other than the one she has? Yeah, she suffers serious trust issues. That’s what I thought too. However, I would add she’s faithful. Her commitment to one gun provides as an example that once she does trust someone, she’ll do anything to protect them. Even if it means losing her life while doing so. I guess she possesses some redeeming qualities after all.

Then there’s the matter of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg). He’s always been the outsider. Never one appreciated except for when he gave Wichita his shotgun. They become close. She confides in him about knowing the rumor that Los Angeles being zombie-free is bogus. She keeps up appearances for her sister’s sake. He admires her and they become good friends.

Columbus realizes Wichita had to lie in the beginning to protect her sister. She didn’t know Tallahassee or Columbus. She had to trick them into giving up their firearms because if she didn’t, in her mind, who knows what would have happened. And if she wasn’t sneaky, how would she have known who the real Columbus was? That’s her side of it, anyway. Eventually she does reveal her real name to him.

You know what? I like Wichita. She’s solid. There’s no wavering with her. Either you’re for her or against her. None of that wishy-washy “oh, I broke a nail” stuff with her. She takes her hits and keeps going forward.

Have you seen Zombieland? What do you think of Wichita? Was it necessary she lie, cheat and steal to get her way?