Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Movie Time

Now that I'm back from vacation, it's time to get back to the difficult work of being retired and having free time.  It requires concentration to goof off at high enough level, so yesterday Mrs. Graybeard and I went to see Wonder Woman in our usual multi-screen theater. 

Any of you who've read this blog long enough to feel like you know me shouldn't be surprised by that.  Almost without exception, whenever we go to see a movie it's either a sci-fi or comic book-based movie.  We've seen everything in the Marvel Universe except for Dead Pool (and that's on the maybe list); we've seen the DC movies in the various re-boots of Batman, Man of Steel, and so on, as well as sci-fi flicks like the Star Wars series, latest Star Trek series, Rogue One, Passengers, Oblivion and Arrival. 

Warner Brothers has apparently decided to bet a lot of money on the DC comics universe, first and foremost on Wonder Woman.  She was introduced in last year's last years' Batman vs. Superman, a movie the two of us were rather unimpressed with, and various released trailers since then show that they've planned at least two Justice League of America movies.  The first, simply called Justice League, comes out this November.  Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Superman, Batman and more will be in those.  For what it's worth, IMDB says that WW cost $149 million to make and has so far made $213M as of yesterday, 6/12.  Sounds like a sound bet. 

Let's start with the good:  the action scenes are really well done.  The movie is set in the closing days of WWI, when US spy Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) accidentally crashes into the sea just off the island where Diana (Gal Gadot) is watching.  The fight scenes are a good blend of CGI, slow motion stunts and explosions, along with old-fashioned, "puppets and stew meat" effects.  One of the press blurbs on Gal Gadot is that she was in the Israeli Defense Forces and has a level of training and toughness that allows her to do a lot of her own stunts.  I sure can't tell that, but she was pretty convincing in the fights.  She can act well enough to carry the part. 

The bad?  It was a bit slow paced for the start of the movie.  I didn't sit looking at my watch, but my guess would be the entire first half of the movie.  As Mrs. Graybeard told me, at some time she had started thinking "let's get on with the Wonder Womaning".  This was what movie weenies call "character development"; they felt they needed to tell Wonder Woman's backstory; how did she and the other Amazons get where the movie begins?  How did they remain isolated from the rest of the world?  How did Diana get trained to be a great warrior?  In my mind, they could have edited that part a bit more ruthlessly. 

There wasn't any ugly to mention.  They could have made this annoyingly feminist, but didn't go there.  Thank you, whoever made the call.  There were some scenes where they touched on her adaptation to this strange new world she jumps into, but those are either mildly comical or else over with pretty quickly.  They could have made those more annoying.  They largely let the obvious attraction between Capt. Trevor and Diana just stay near the surface. 

My rating would be a 4 out of 5.  The setup part of the movie drags a bit too much, but the rest is good.  Chances are, though, that if you're into comic book movies, you already want to see this.
(IMDB photo)  Chris Pine, Gal Gadot and the "mercenaries" they find to bring WW to the front lines.


  1. Glad to hear you liked it...the wife and I go to so few movies because they tend to fall in the adult re-education and propaganda category or into the kiddie category. indyjonesouthere

  2. Is it better to see this one at the theater (big screen) or wait for it to come out on HBO in four months?

    1. IMO, I like big screen movies. I have a TV under 50" and haven't put a ton of bucks into a home theater system, so I only go to these big spectacle movies.

      YMMV depending on all sorts of things. Weekday matinees are cheap.

  3. I recalled a Terry pratchett quote:

    …any woman setting out to make a living by the sword isn’t about to go around looking like something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalogue for the specialised buyer.

    Which sums it up nicely (from here: http://www.chrisjoneswriting.com/light-fantastic.html).

    Phil B

    1. Don't go making sense, now. It's a comic book. It's supposed to be fun.

      Next thing you'll be telling me that Batman walking around with a cape on all the time will end up getting the cape snagged on something all the time, getting yanked off his feet.