Tag Archives: Chris Pine

My (Spoiler Free) Wonder Woman Movie Review

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I’ve been obsessing over it. I’ve been anticipating it. I’ve found any possible excuse to talk about it on this blog, including those involving hidden BDSM undertones. If you still weren’t convinced of how excited I was about the “Wonder Woman” movie, then I can’t help you and neither can Superman. Well, after years of waiting and agonizing over the failures of lesser female heroes, it happened. The “Wonder Woman” movie has arrived.

I’ve been following this movie since the release of its first trailer, making it clear along the way that this is one of the most important movies of the past decade. It’s not just an important step towards making us forget about “Catwoman.” It’s an overdue, understated milestone in the growth of female superheroes and female characters in general.

Wonder Woman is, by most measures, the most iconic female character of the past century. She is the standard by which all female heroes, and many female characters in general, are measured. She embodies the ideals of womanhood, generating hope for some and conflict for others. For her to have waited this long to get a movie while Ant Man of all characters got one is a travesty.

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However long it took and whatever controversy emerged along the way, including those involving armpits, doesn’t matter anymore. The movie has arrived and I made it a point to see it, despite the crowds and overpriced candy. That leaves just one pressing question that doesn’t need the lasso of truth for an answer.

Is the “Wonder Woman” movie actually good?

Well, I’m here to say as part of my official review that yes. It is good. It’s every bit as good as its Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic score would indicate. This is not a “Dawn of Justice” type scenario where critics and fans don’t see eye-to-eye. The consensus is clear. “Wonder Woman” is a damn good movie.

What makes it good, though? Well, that’s where it helps to understand the challenge this movie faced, as well as the scope of the story it told. Unlike Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman’s origins aren’t as universally known and again, I’m not just referring to the BDSM elements.

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Most people know she’s an iconic female superhero. Most know she’s a warrior princess from an island populated solely by women. Few people actually know the details of that story or the emotional undertones behind it. Even fans of the old Lynda Carter TV series only ever got part of the story.

This movie doesn’t assume that the audience knows the core of Wonder Woman history or what makes her who she is. Patty Jenkins, the director tasked with deciding which assumptions to make, made a concerted effort to explore both who Diana is and where she came from.

The parts about her being a warrior on an island of female warriors is still there. What makes it resonate is how the movie adds emotional elements to the story. There’s an undeniable innocence at first, seeing Diana as a child, running around her paradise island of Themyscira, eager to see more than others allow her to see.

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This establishes and important tone for the story and for Wonder Woman’s character, as a whole. Even on an island paradise run by women, Wonder Woman dares to break with tradition and do more than what others would dare. She’s willing to test the rules of the Amazons and the rules of men alike. She is, at her core, a free spirit who seeks out wrongs to right and will step up when others won’t.

This makes her emergence as a warrior all the more meaningful because it gives her the strength and means break with tradition and fight the battles that no one dares. She doesn’t just become strong for the sake of being strong. Her training, her desire, and her capacity to kick ass has purpose. She makes the audience want her to succeed.

That kind of emotional resonance never wanes as the larger conflicts unfold. This is where Wonder Woman’s supporting cast really shines, especially in Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor.

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It might have been the trickiest part of the movie, handling how Wonder Woman’s long-time companion and frequent love interest, Steve Trevor, was handled. There have been instances in the comics and cartoons where Steve Trevor has been a beta male. There have also been times where he’s just been an glorified nanny to Wonder Woman, trying to keep her on a leash and not in a kinky sort of way.

That doesn’t happen in this movie. Chris Pine’s take on Steve Trevor is one that men and women alike can appreciate. He’s very much his own character who earns the respect of both Wonder Woman and everyone he works with. He doesn’t just show that he’s worthy of Wonder Woman’s affection. He earns it.

It’s probably the greatest accomplishment of the movie. Wonder Woman’s partnership with Steve Trevor and his allies is all about complementing one another, not hindering one another. Trevor isn’t just some man trying to put Wonder Woman in her place. He and his friends try to guide her through the conflict, doing their part whenever they can and letting Wonder Woman do hers.

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Those looking for a movie that shows Wonder Woman attacking male oppression and exposing men for the pig-headed brutes they are will be disappointed. There are heroic men and villainous women in this movie. There’s no gender agenda at work here. There are times when gender dynamics are explored, but it’s never done with the impression that one is worse than the other.

The movie gets the message and the dynamics right. It gets the characters and their personalities right. Needless to say, Gal Gadot gets Wonder Woman right and looks absolutely stunning in that outfit in every single frame. On top of that, the various fight scenes and acrobatics that go with any hardened Amazonian warrior are a spectacle to behold.

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It checks so many boxes. It has so many satisfying moments from beginning to end. There are moments of humor, including those of the crude, sexual kind. Chris Pine even gets naked at one point. Granted, he’s no Hugh Jackman, but I think most heterosexual women and gay men will be happy with what they see.

So are there any issues with this movie? Is “Wonder Woman” the most flawless work of cinema since “Godfather II?” Well, this is the part where I have to be somewhat petty because this movie isn’t perfect. It does have some flaws, but none of them are overly egregious.

If there are any shortcomings, it’s in the limited time it spends exploring Themyscira and its culture. There is some time spent on the mother/daughter dynamics between Wonder Woman and her mother, but it feels somewhat minimized, as do the rest of the Amazons. Many do get to shine in a few fight scenes, but none get a chance to be all that memorable.

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There’s also the matter of the mythology behind the main conflict. Wonder Woman has always drawn heavily from Greco-Roman Mythology, so much so that it fuels a great deal of Wonder Woman’s iconic stories. However, the mythology in this movie is fairly flat and streamlined. It presents a very simple, bland view of the gods that are so integral to the Amazons. It feels like an oversight, but one that doesn’t derail the story.

Overall, I would not proclaim “Wonder Woman” to be the greatest superhero movie of all time. I would still put movies like “Deadpool” and “The Avengers” above it, but not by much. It is still very much in the top echelon of superhero movies. It is also groundbreaking in that it is the first female solo movie that succeeded where too many others have failed.

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It’s impossible to overstate how critical this movie was for DC Comics, Warner Brothers, and superhero movies in general. “Wonder Woman” had so much riding on it from the get go, but it succeeded. It rose to the challenge. Much like Wonder Woman herself, this movie dared to defy convention and do something special.

If I had to score this movie, I would give it a solid 4.5 out of 5. It has all the right elements. It’s concise, compelling, and satisfying. It is a wonder unto itself. It was a long time coming, but like so many things, it was worth the wait.

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Wonder Woman Origins Trailer

It’s almost here! In just a few more months, Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero of all time and secret BDSM icon, is going to release her first live-action movie. Despite what the assholes at the United Nations may claim, this has been a long time coming.

There have been multiple Superman movies. There have been dozens of Batman movies. Hell, even Ant Man got his own movie. That’s right. A hero named Ant Man got a movie before Wonder Woman. What’s that say about us as a culture?

We’ve had to ensure some pretty nasty moments to get to this point and I’m not just talking about the poor reviews that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice got. We’ve had a Catwoman movie that has since become infamous. There has even been an Elektra movie that has since become as forgettable as Ben Affleck’s performance as Daredevil.

There’s no question that the road to this movie has been long and hard, but it’s finally almost here. The Wonder Woman movie is poised to join the world of superhero movies at a time when raccoons and talking trees are finding their way into this genre.

With only a few months left, Warner Brothers released another trailer this past weekend. I would’ve made a big deal of it sooner, but being sick kind of got in the way of that. I’m better now so I’m ready to make a big fucking deal of it now.

Are you done cheering like a school-girl on crack? Good. As a long-time comic book fan, seeing this trailer puts a smile on my face and a boner in my pants. I couldn’t be happier that superhero movies have become the alpha and omega of box office blockbusters. However, I have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of successful female superhero movies.

Wonder Woman can change that. Wonder Woman, being the first and most iconic female hero of the last 70 years, can bring some much-needed balance and sex-appeal to superhero movies. While I doubt the BDSM elements of her history are going to show up in this movie, I’m glad she’s joining the crowded crop of superhero movies that has one too many talking racoon and actors named Chris.

This trailer specifically focuses on Wonder Womans origins. Again, there’s no hint of BDSM, but the core elements are there. There’s Themyscira, her homeland. There’s the Amazons, a society of warrior women blessed by the gods. There’s a weapon that no woman on Themyscira is worthy to wield. Those are all key elements of an awesome Wonder Woman story.

That story will commence this June. Expect me to be among the first in line. Also expect me to write a thorough assessment on this blog, especially if any BDSM moments show up. I imagine they’ll be well-hidden if they do, but at this point, I’ll just gladly accept an awesome Wonder Woman movie that’ll remind the assholes at the UN why she’s one of the most iconic female heroes of all time.

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My Thoughts (And Concerns) On The Second Wonder Woman Trailer

Over the past decade or so, there have been a major glut of superhero movies and for an admitted comic book fan like me, I couldn’t be happier. Every now and then, someone will ask me if I’m getting tired of all these superhero-themed movies. My response usually some form of “Hell no!”

This year has been a damn good year for comic book movies, thanks in large part to the contributions of Deadpool and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s still not over with a Dr. Strange movie coming out this month, but that’s basically another movie about a white guy becoming a superhero. As much as I love superhero movies, I do appreciate a little variety.

That’s why 2017 holds a great deal of promise because that’s where Wonder Woman will finally enter the arena that is superhero cinema. Yes, it’s finally happening. The most iconic female superhero of the 20th century, who just happens to have an origin story with not-so-subtle BDSM undertones, is going to get her own movie. I think I speak for generations of comic book fans when I say it’s about damn time.

I already got wondrously giddy when the first trailer came out. That gave us our first taste of a cinematic Wonder Woman, played by real-life female soldier and overall badass, Gal Gadot. She already proved herself in Batman v. Superman. Say what you will about that movie (and believe me, everything that can be said has), but she was the best part of that movie. She alone made that movie worth seeing.

Now, Gal Gadot is ready to take center stage on her own movie. It’s a movie that promises to explore Wonder Woman’s origin, setting her on the path that eventually led to her arrival in Batman v. Superman. It’s an opportunity to show just how awesome Wonder Woman can be and the trailer only reinforces that sentiment.

Seeing this trailer gave me goose bumps in the best possible way. It got me excited in ways I usually reserve for holidays, parties, and strip clubs. It has all the right ingredients. It has Wonder Woman kicking ass, defending the innocent, and standing up for the values of her people. It’s a beautiful thing and she looks damn sexy doing it.

As excited as I am about this trailer, though, I do have concerns that will likely keep me up until people start whining about it on message boards (and they will because people whine about every superhero movies). I can tolerate and ignore whining. That’s one of the most important skills any comic book fan can learn. With Wonder Woman though, the stakes are a little different.

Unlike Batman, Superman, or Deadpool, there are very different stakes for Wonder Woman’s movie. At least with heroes like Superman and Batman, they have a track record. At times, that track record is mixed. Do I need to remind Batman fans of this?

I’ll avoid scrutinizing that pile of shit, but I bring it up because it sends an important message. No matter how far a franchise sinks or how bad it gets, strong characters will bounce back. Wonder Woman is one of the strongest, most iconic characters in the history of superhero comics. She’s reliant. She can endure more than one blows by Joel Shumacher.

However, it’s not the issues with horrible Batman movies that concern me. It isn’t even the acting capabilities of Gal Gadot or her co-star, Chris Pine. Both are quality actors with a solid track record of playing powerful characters in heroic roles. Gal Gadot already got a head start with Batman v. Superman. So what could possibly be so disconcerting.

It can be best summed up in one word: Catwoman. Anybody remember this? If not, consider yourself lucky.

Why do I bring up Catwoman? Why do I dare reference the abomination that even the Oscar-winning talent of Halle Berry couldn’t save? Well, it’s important to mention because the failure of this movie is part of what set back female superhero movies for so long.

There are many who complain about the absence of female leads in superhero movies. Those complaints aren’t without merit. I certainly wouldn’t lump them in with the typical whining that comes with superhero movies. What gets lost in the complaining though is the context and that context doesn’t have as much to do with sexism as radical feminists would have us believe.

As is often the case, it all comes down to that wholly unsexy force: economics. Yes, I can already sense your eyes glazing over. I can sense panties drying up and boners being killed. Bear with me here. There’s a reason for this and it’s a good reason if you want to understand why Wonder Woman’s movie is so important.

According to Box Office Mojo, Catwoman was a commercial and critical bomb that made only $82 million against a $100 million budget. It’s one thing for a movie to be critically despised. If it loses money, then it becomes an even bigger problem.

Michael Bay movies are among the most reviled by critics, but he gets away with it because movies like Transformers: Age of Extinction make over $1 billion. If Catwoman had made that much money, you can bet that Halle Berry would’ve been in no fewer than three sequels. Hell, Michael Bay may have even directed those movies.

Unfortunately, Catwoman didn’t make that kind of money. As a result, that movie’s failure sent the message that female superhero movies aren’t profitable. They’ll lose a studio money, even if they throw in Oscar-caliber talent. Studios don’t listen to much, but they do listen to money and if a movie doesn’t make money, it may as well be smothered in elephant shit.

This is why Wonder Woman is such an important movie. If it is a success, it’ll prove to Hollywood that strong female heroes can succeed. They can turn a profit. This would be huge, especially for those still pining for a Black Widow movie. Joss Whedon even said he’d return to direct that movie. That raises the stakes for Wonder Woman even more.

If, however, Wonder Woman flops like 2015’s Fantastic Four movie, then that’ll set female superhero movies back even more. That’ll only reinforce the notion that female superheroes can’t hold their own without a strong male lead supporting them. It would be the worst possible message to send to Hollywood, who still control the checkbook.

With that in mind, I eagerly and anxiously await the release of Wonder Woman. She’s entering a golden era of superhero movies. She’s got everything going for her. She got a head start in Batman v. Superman, she’s got a talented actress in Gal Gadot, and she’s got a fanbase who has been hungry for a Wonder Woman movie since Lynda Carter retired.

The stakes literally couldn’t be higher. Gal Gadot, DC Comics, and Wonder Woman have a lot riding on their shoulders. It’s going to take a special kind of female superhero to break through and show the world that women can kick ass. I can think of no one more special than Wonder Woman to make that happen.

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