Wonder Woman

DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, starring Gal (pronounced like “doll”) Gadot (rhymes with “float”) and Chris Pine, tells the story of Diana, princess of the Amazons and trained warrior, and her harsh introduction to the “free world.”  Raised in tranquil Themyscira, Diana is forced into her destiny to defend the world against the forces of evil in real-world WWI.

There’s a lot to like about this movie. Gadot and Pine complement one another well. Gadot served in the IDF (the Israeli army) years ago, was Miss Israel 2004 and trained in swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, Capoeira and Brazilian Jujitsu for this role, so physically she makes a perfect Wonder Woman, with beauty and strength.  I wasn’t sure Pine was the right pick, but he won me over.  The action was well choreographed and the effects are kind of cool at times.  The set design and costumes are outstanding.  There is some great camerawork and cinematography.  All the elements one wants in a comic-based film are present.

The writing is strong (as far as comic-book based movies go), incorporating a bit of humor and romance (but never too much) into the action and adventure. The movie is chaste and clean.  The interesting part of the story is this stark contrast between the light-filled, idyllic existence Diana came from and the dark, smoky chaos and ugliness she becomes a part of (and how it gets darker and darker both in writing and visually).  We get to watch her metamorphosis from a wide-eyed tot, to a naïve, sheltered girl who is not even fully aware of who she is, to a woman who eventually owns and masters her power.  This is about Diana Prince coming of age and the death of her innocence, so it has this sort of tragic feel to it that enriches the story further.  For fans and aspiring fans, this movie covers everything you need to know about Diana’s origins (including the story behind her weapons – which is very cool) and how she became a total bad-ass.

The movie is well directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster (2003)). I could almost feel the balanced touch she put on it, as opposed to the heavy-handed feel some of the male-directed comic book based movies can sometimes have (Because… You know?  They’re manly male Superheroes!); and I had no idea this woman was the director, or even of her existence until a few minutes ago.  Wonder Woman follows the usual superhero story formula — good vs. evil, a love interest, fight scenes, yada, yada, yada.  But despite being predictable (because I mean, we all know the story, so there’s really nothing that should be all that surprising or new here) the movie manages to feel “fresh” and not overdone or overwritten, or overworked.  It’s just right.  From the writing to the screenplay to the direction, the acting, and the action — this movie feels like a concerted effort.  It feels like a movie should; as if the people who worked on it worked mostly cooperatively and enjoyed themselves in the process.

Here’s where I usually discuss what I didn’t like. But I won’t because I’m having a hard time knocking this movie.  I even love how Diana’s mother and aunt had accents to explain Gadot’s accent.  It’s Amazonian!  This way, she could speak the way she speaks naturally without trying to imitate some American or European accent, or whatever.  And the use of athletes to play the Amazons was thoughtful as well, so there was a consistent body type among them.  That is what you call careful consideration in movie making.  Little things mean a lot.

I can hardly believe it, but Wonder Woman earned 8 out of 10 bloops. It’s a great movie worth seeing.  But hold up…  Consider the source.  I said it before and I must continue to say it – this is not my genre.  But I’m a “girly-girl” who grew up on Linda Carter as Wonder Woman from my childhood (I believe I had the doll as well), so this character holds a special place in my heart as one of the few popular female superheroes of my time (the others I can think of would probably be Catwoman and Batgirl, and Batgirl annoyed the heck out of me.)  But here, someone took their time, put some careful consideration into a movie, and did a fine job.  Go see it!

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What I’m Watching This Week

  • Baahubali: The Conclusion: – Telugu (a segment of Indian cinema known as Tollywood).  If you haven’t heard about the great success of the first Baahubali installment, read up on it and you will see why I am going to see the second.
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – Animated.  I actually had tickets to a screening of this Saturday that I missed unfortunately.
  • The Wedding Plan – A Hebrew romantic comedy

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Mini Reviews…

Hey there! It’s been a while since I reviewed anything. I had a bit of surgery to recover from but I’m much better now.  While I was down I binge watched so much Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO, etc., I don’t even remember all the things I watched.  So here are some mini-reviews of what I’ve seen.  Still haven’t seen The Handmaid’s Tale, the seventh season of Archer, second season of Master of None, and Queen Sugar (I know I’m late.  Don’t judge me!), but they are soooo on my list. Thank you to everyone who kept checking to see if I had written anything and those who kept reading, referring and sharing what I’ve already written and kept my little blog alive.  Sincerely, thank you so much.

Ballers
HBO – starring the Rock
7.5 out of 10 bloops

I like this show. It is worth seeing, particularly if you’re a fan of the Rock.  It’s kind of like Entourage meets Arliss.  If you liked those shows, you’ll really like this one.

Dear White People
Netflix
8.5 out of 10 bloops

Surprisingly, much better than I expected it to be given that I disliked the movie very, very much. I felt like it was too similar to something Spike Lee had already done, and if I want to see a Spike Lee movie, I can watch a Spike Lee movie.  What really made me watch the Netflix series is that one of the episodes is directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight).  Would have been really nice if they could have gotten Spike Lee to direct one, but alas… The uniqueness of the format of the show is what makes it interesting.  It’s well acted, well cast, and confronts and discusses important issues surrounding racists and racism.  Another one of the programs the very people who need to be watching won’t.  You think it is going to be an exercise in bashing white people but it is really about engaging one another in a conversation, coming to some understanding about one another and working toward solutions.

13 Reasons Why
Netflix
8.5 out of 10 bloops

Another great show which puts suicide all up in your face, and covers all the things that can contribute to it, including but not limited to, low self esteem, negative self image, peer pressure, bullying, sexual assault, rape culture, depression, underage drinking, and just so much more.  If you have a tween or teenager who is willing to watch it with you, you really should.  You could literally talk about each episode for hours because there is so much going on in the story with these young people.  And no, it does not glorify suicide.  This is a mini-review, so I won’t get into all of that.  Watch it and form your own opinion.  The initial premise is a bit silly to me, but you have to go with it to get through the story.  A second season is coming.  I guess it will be interesting to see how that is executed.

Greenleaf
OWN
9.0 out of 10 bloops

All I can say is Oprah… Holy Crap Girl! You have done it!  Haven’t seen Queen Sugar yet, but this right here is fire!  If you like drama and excellent acting I can’t tell you enough how much I encourage you to watch Greenleaf.  It’s about a pastor of a megachurch and his dynasty.  Lynn Whitfield is outstanding as the first lady of the church and it’s like someone spilled all the church secrets.  Very well done, indeed.  It’s dramatic like Empire, but with class and Jesus.  And there’s a Winans in it and everything!  The music is an important part of the show.

This is Us
NBC/I think I watched on Hulu or Amazon. I really cannot remember.  Check both.  It’s worth it!
9.0 out of 10 bloops

This show features a multicultural, multifaceted family that contains a bunch of imperfect people trying to navigate how to love each other and stay together. You see, the family looks all perfect and kumbayaa on the outside, but if you look a little bit deeper you see all the many, many, flaws – just like real families.  And they’re beautiful.  And they love each other.  It is just a beautiful show.  If you have almost any type of family relationship troubles, you will see your loved ones in this show.  I was told it will make me cry every week, which is why I avoided it.  (I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want to be crying over some t.v. show every week.  Life is hard enough as it is.)  It didn’t make me cry every week, but when it gets you, it gets you and it isn’t terrible.  Well-acted, well written, well-conceived, just superbly well done.

Other Reviews:

Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me
It Comes At Night
The Wedding Plan
Everything, everything

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
The Belko Experiment
Beauty and the Beast
Raw

Kong: Skull Island
Logan
Bitter Harvest
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
Florence Foster Jenkins
I Am Not Your Negro

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