Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Wonderful.....Wonder?

It seems like either Hollywood is a giant snowball going down a mountain gathering speed and mass with comic book based films with each one that is released and then scheduled to be released and eventually it will crash, or it will just go on successfully forever; not certain how that analogy will end. Or, maybe this golden age of comic book films will only get better and never end. Who knows. Until then, the movies are being released non-stop. Wonder Woman was honestly one of those comic book characters that I thought would never ever work well on-screen, and I thought an entire film about the character would be disastrous. Once again I am proved quite capably wrong. It's hard to nail down specifically why the film was so good and well done; I would point to a number of factors rather than just one singular point. The movie follows the character of Diana of the Amazons or later it is discovered she is something else entirely. She rescues a pilot during WWI and together they return to Europe to fight the Germans and end the war, although she is seeking to find and destroy Aries, the god of war whom she believes is responsible for all the evils of mankind. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince was perfect; it's hard to gauge how good of an actress she is as I've only seen her in this, and a bit here and there in Batman vs. Superman, but she was confident, interesting, dynamic, and the audience could empathize with her. Chris Pine plays Captain Steve Trevor (very ironic how even the DC universe has a Captain Steve like Marvel's Captain Steve who is Captain America). Mr. Pine plays himself; the difference between his character in this film and Captain Kirk in Star Trek are merely the setting and the individual differences. He was good in the film, but nothing remarkable. Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta the Amazon Queen was perfection; that woman can act (she had a very notable role in Gladiator). Robin Wright played Antiope the best Amazon warrior who trained Diana, and she was awesome; I wish her role had been larger, and the same as Connie Nielsen. Then there were the sidekicks: Sameer (Said Taghmaoui), Charlie (Ewen Bremner), and The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). All three men performed fantastically, but I especially liked the characters Sameer and Charlie, both of whom had the most depth and likability. Danny Huston cast as German General Ludendorff was horribly miscast, and that character wasn't very well written either; seemed to be more of an afterthought than anything. Elena Anaya played Dr. Maru the "mad scientist" and she performed brilliantly and should have been more of the central villain rather than an afterthought as well. David Thewlis played a small role as a British politician, Sir Patrick, but he was utterly and horribly miscast as well; once you've seen the film, you'll totally understand why I think that. Overall the casting wasn't too bad, but like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, you watch this movie to see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Patty Jenkins directed the film and was perhaps one of the big reasons it was well done and has been quite successful and well received. She did a fine job on her first big film Monster, and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. Allan Heinberg wrote the screenplay and I have to say that he did a rather good job with the material he had; I think a few changes and tweaks here and there would have enhanced it even more, but you can never have everything.....at least most of the time. I would also like to point out again as I did in Suicide Squad the current U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was an executive producer. Rupert Gregson-Williams composed the music for the film, and well....it was okay, but the only thing I remember well enough is her theme which wasn't even composed by him. Why are so many film composers writing blah music for films; it's very frustrating, especially for someone who enjoys that kind of music. The cinematography by Matthew Jensen was pretty good for a comic book film, and costume design by Lindy Hemming wasn't too bad either. The action in the film was okay; there were times when it worked really well, and times when it didn't. One big complaint I have was with the slow motion; there was too much of it and it was in random places, and the fight choreography wasn't consistently good either. Did I like it? Yes I did; Wonder Woman was a good film and I'd watch it again. It was definitely entertaining and had some good ideas and thoughts in it, but it wasn't great. I honestly would rather watch Batman vs. Superman as I really like Zack Snyder. There were at times during the film moments that seemed too....naive and trite, and that bothers me. But, it was very well put together, although I was not a fan of the last action sequence whatsoever. Wonder Woman was a good entertaining summer diversion, so if that's all you want, then this movie is perfect for you. Lord knows we're all in need of that.

Wonder Woman documentary

Wonder Woman preview

Justice League trailer

Valerian trailer (It looks interesting at least)

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