Quick update on my upcoming paperbacks before jumping into the post: My books are still coming, and should be available July 1st, 2017! Also, for those in the pacific northwest of the United States, don’t forget to come check me out at the Annual Portland NW Book Festival, where I’ll be selling all my current books!
Now, for this week’s blog post…
A few weeks ago I took a poll asking what my readers wanted more of, and one of the highest voted was for movie reviews. Well, I saw Wonder Woman this week and think it’s as good a time as any to start doing routine movie reviews. I will keep this SPOILER-FREE.
First, I want address both the obvious fact and, in my opinion, the most important fact: what this movie did and is doing for women is absolutely amazing. This film has set records, as many already know, for both budget and profit for a film helmed by a female director. For director Patty Jenkins’ intro into the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), she grossed over $103,000,000 in just the opening weekend, according to IMDb, and in total has grossed over $129,300,000 (you can check out Wonder Woman’s IMDb page here). The vision that both Patty Jenkins and the screenwriter, Allan Heinberg, had for this movie is evident throughout: love is stronger than war and women can be badasses, too.
Despite the amazing work that’s been done here, I’m not without my critiques of the film. The first ten minutes of the film is packed with a mix of beautiful sequences both in live-action and in animated illustrations, heavy exposition, and–my biggest problem with the DCEU so far–poor CGI and less-than-fantastic editing. The editing speaks for itself; it’s a little choppy in the beginning but not nearly as horrible as it was in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The CGI issues I’m referring to are focused on one sequence near the end of the first ten minutes, but I can’t say much more without giving story elements away. Luckily for movie goers, it becomes clear as the movie progresses that those early struggles were to save budget for some absolutely amazing scenes later in the movie. I’m talking scenes that rival the greatness of Marvel’s heavy-hitters.
I can say that the latter half of act one and the entirety of act two are some of the best cinematic experiences I’ve had, but stepping into act three the movie seems to lose its footing just a little bit. I’m in no way saying the third act is bad, but it just feels like the writer wasn’t sure how to bring the film to a close. Up to this point, we’ve laughed, cried, cheered, gasped, etc., and when we meet the classic superhero movie climax, it does feel slightly underwhelming. Why does it feel underwhelming? That’s hard to say, because by all accounts it’s a good superhero finisher. That’s just my problem, though. I’ve gotten used to the superhero genre bending itself, twisting ever so slightly to make itself new. Wonder Woman tries to do this, but stumbles in its attempt. In the end, the movie finishes strong if not as strong as it could have, and it still managed to surprise me by the time the credits rolled.
IMDb has this movie at 8.2 stars, and Rotten Tomatoes has it at over 90% FRESH for both critic and audience scores as of me writing this. I’d place it at about 8 stars and 80% percent, personally. It’s a very good movie, and as I said at the beginning of this post, what this movie stands for and what it does for women in Hollywood is much more important than its use of CGI. For that reason alone, and for the epic second act, I’d spend my money to see it again.
Congrats to Patty Jenkins, and huge congrats to Gal Gadot for an excellent job playing Wonder Woman.
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And stay updated on my next novel, Mordecai – Episode One: Bloodthirsty, by clicking here. It will be available Summer, 2017.
This weeks writing prompt:
Zeus has quit his job, and now his children have to contend as to who’s the most qualified to replace him. Who will get hired?