Skip to main content

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman, indeed! The DC superhero's origin movie is a triumph, anchored by Gal Gadot's performance and director Patty Jenkins' focus on what makes the character great: the purity of her strength and purpose.

In the film version, Diana of Themyscira grows up among the Amazons, who are sworn to defend mankind. When an "above average" specimen (according to him) crashes into their hidden refuge, Diana leaves the island with him so she can fulfill what she sees as her sacred purpose: to save the innocent and defeat evil.

The movie takes its time building up Diana, which is the key to its success. Gadot is phenomenal as the goddess in her various incarnations: as a restless young woman questioning her mother; as a stranger to the modern world; as the one person you want on your side in any fight; and finally, as a true friend of and believer in humanity's light. In particular, her fish-out-of-water moments in London serve both as comic relief and further insight into her personality. Highlights include her stern lecture to military officials, a comment on how glasses are a poor way to disguise her looks -- "Great, now she's no longer the most beautiful woman you've ever seen" -- and her rushing off to coo at a random baby.

Diana's unquestionable crowning moment of awesome occurs at No Man's Land, where she puts her bracelets and shield to impressive use. Tired of being told that she can't stop to help, Diana throws off her disguise and powers through the mud and bullets and death. Based on that scene alone, I predict that at least 50% of all Halloween/convention costumes I see this year are going to be Wonder Woman, and rightly so.

Wonder Woman's distinct musical theme is kept in reserve for her truly epic action scenes, which are a joy to watch. Alas, if only the same could be said for her final showdown with the villain. This particular fight just didn't have great CG, and I honestly couldn't take the bad guy seriously after the reveal of his secret identity.

However, this is also the battle where Diana limit breaks, as it were, and the image of her hoisting a tank over her head in a blind rage is now forever seared into my mind. Jenkins knows how to do superhero shots, that's for sure.

In conclusion: as a moviegoer exclaimed after the credits, "I want to be her!" -- amen, sister! While none of us have been trained by a truly jacked Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright), nor were we specifically created by a god to keep other gods in check, we now at least have someone to wonder at and aspire to.

TL;DR: Watch immediately if you haven't yet.


This post brought to you by the summer heat!

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…

Game Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a solid sequel to 2013's Tomb Raider reboot. This time, Lara Croft is pursuing her father's research, which had led to his downfall and death. Most of the action takes place in Russia, with a brief interlude in Syria. Mechanics from the first game have been improved, locations are diverse, and Lara now starts out as a badass. Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a terrific action/adventure platformer that has me looking forward to the next installment.

Ways Rise of the Tomb Raider Rocks
The game has plenty of strengths: a compelling lead, lots of exploration, fun puzzles, gorgeous visuals, and a thrilling soundtrack. As always, Lara is a star: she's a force of nature, laser focused on her goal; and neither words nor bullets will deter her. It's a joy to have her perform improbable physical feats as she seeks the Divine Source that her father obsessed over. Lara scales sheer walls of ice, mows through mercenaries with only a bow and arrows, and …