Jun. 3rd, 2017

shadowkat: (rainbow strength)
So, I saw the Wonder Woman movie with cjlasky today. It exceeded expectations.

Granted my expectations after trying to read Whedon's stab at it, were fairly low.
But, this surprised me. My only quibble, is well, the same quibble I have regarding all Zack Snyder films...and that's basically the man has problems with pacing. Patty Jenkins was the director and quite good, but it felt like a Snyder film, pacing issues and focus on cinematic paintings. Lots of pausing for the beautiful F/X painting. Snyder is a great visual artist, and excellent at F/X paintings...but, his pacing can slow down a film.

That said, I still love the movie. It did the opposite of what Whedon's script did -- it put us in Diana's point of view from the beginning. Just like Steve Rodgers, Clark Kent, et al, we got to be in Diana's perspective throughout. Not Steve Trevors. The movie also much like Captain America has a framing device -- she is in present day, and flashes back on her past. The story is told in flashback. And it starts when she was a child on the Amazon island, and who she is.

It's not campy. Yes, there is Greek mythology, but they treat it respectfully, and Ares, the villain..was a pleasant surprise. Not at all what I expected. Completely unpredictable, I had no idea where they were headed with it.

In many respects it is an anti-war film, and it ...slyly references what is happening politically at the moment. Uplifting and with a strong message about war and love.

Gail Gadot is perfect as Wonder Woman, building on her nuanced performance in Batman vs. Superman. And the other actors, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, and Robin Wright are excellent as well.

Highly recommended. Best DC film I've seen since...Dark Knight Rises. Except this was a bit more up-lifting.

Only downside, besides the pacing here and there, was the woman next to me, for some odd reason, felt the need to keep checking her cell phone every 20 minutes. I finally nudged her and said in a half-whisper, please stop doing that, it's irritating.

People? You cannot use your cellphones in a darkened theater without people noticing. It's like turning on a flashlight. Turn the frigging things off. Some places will fine you or confiscate it. They do in rural and suburban movie theaters. I think they are afraid to do it in the city.

I haven't finished reading the Wonder Woman script by Whedon yet, but so far, very happy they passed on it, and waited to get this one made. Actually I don't think I'll change my mind regarding that.
shadowkat: (Default)
The review in The Atlantic about Wonder Woman, I pretty much agree with in its entirety.

Directing from a script by Allan Heinberg, Patty Jenkins (Monster) favors character over conflict, an approach that yields precisely the happy results one might have anticipated. Gadot, in particular, is a delight as Diana: supremely capable yet utterly innocent, a big fish who has left her little pond and now finds herself out of water altogether. As her guide to the ways of the masculine world—which consist principally of lying and pointless fighting—Pine’s Steve is equal parts incredulous and enraptured toward Diana.

Wonder Woman does have its share of flaws. At two hours and 20 minutes, it is considerably overlong. A more compelling villain would have helped matters, and one scene in which Diana brutally impales a foe with her sword is an incongruous fit with the movie’s overall tone. Also, it seems a bit retrograde to have the first big female-led superhero film end with the lesson that “only love can truly save the world”—especially given the abundant evidence that what actually saved the world was Gal Gadot kicking ass all over Belgium.
[Actually, I don't entirely agree, I liked that theme, although it did seem incongruous, after she won by fighting.]

The final big action sequence, as now seems always to be the case, is a messy and overwrought CGI extravaganza. But at least the movie that precedes it involves actual characters—likeable ones, even!—exhibiting recognizable human emotions. Here’s hoping that DC and Warner Bros. have registered the value of such straightforward pleasures in time for Snyder’s upcoming Justice League. If even he can learn such a lesson, perhaps there’s hope for the human race after all.

And A.O Scott of the NY Times, who I rarely agree with. (I liked Dark Knight more than he did and was not a huge fan of Toby MaGuire's Spiderman.)

Once franchise continuity is established — a mysterious package from Bruce Wayne arrives at the office of Wonder Woman’s alter ego, Diana Prince, who works in the Louvre’s antiquities department — we are transported back to the heroine’s earlier life, long before she became mixed up with Wayne and Clark Kent. “Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos. It feels less like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like … what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

By which I mean that “Wonder Woman” tells an interesting, not entirely predictable story (until the climax, which reverts, inevitably and disappointingly, to dreary, overblown action clichés). It cleverly combines genre elements into something reasonably fresh, touching and fun. Its earnest insouciance recalls the “Superman” movies of the ’70s and ’80s more than the mock-Wagnerian spectacles of our own day, and like those predigital Man of Steel adventures, it gestures knowingly but reverently back to the jaunty, truth-and-justice spirit of an even older Hollywood tradition.

This is an origin story, first and foremost, establishing the mythic background and modern mission of its main character. That kind of movie can be tedious, but “Wonder Woman” is leavened by touches of screwball comedy, espionage caper and romantic adventure, as well as by what might be the most credible superhero screen kiss since upside-down Tobey Maguire planted one on Kirsten Dunst way back in “Spider-Man.”

After seeing "Man of Steel", "Batman vs. Superman", this was a breath of fresh air.
And it was lighter and more uplifting than the Nolan films. More humor, and wit.

I wouldn't mine seeing it again, when it's released on demand. But recommend a movie theater. I did not see it in 3D. 3D gives me a headache, particularly with action movies. Although there were sequences that were clearly meant for 3D, and I could tell it was filmed with that in mind.


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