I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Wonder Woman

Remember when they first announced Gal Gadot would be playing Wonder Woman, and people complained? I remember, because to those of us of the Fast & Furious faith, we knew her as Gisele, and it offended us that they would disrespect her like that. We knew she could be good.

Turns out she’s great. I can’t imagine a more perfect actor for this interpretation of the character. She’s the best thing about an overall sturdy movie.

In a quick prologue, young Diana – they never call her Wonder Woman, but I will, because I don’t feel like I’m on a first name basis with her – gently defies her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen, SOLDIER, DEMONLOVER, 3 DAYS TO KILL) to train with her badass aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright, BEOWULF, MONEYBALL, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) to become a great warrior. She lives a good life of training montage and power discovery on the all-female island of Themyscira, until one day a fuckin dude floats up on shore.

It’s Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, SMOKIN’ ACES), a WWI flying ace and Allied spy shot down while trying to escape with stolen plans for a deadly chemical weapon. German soldiers attack and feel the wrath of the Amazons, a great action scene where Antiope gets the most badass move: a flip and mid-air simultaneous firing of three arrows that hit three different foes. So clearly Wonder Woman learned from the best.

Afterwards Wonder Woman is like you know what, you say there is this World War I going on, this sounds like the work of my no good uncle Ares the God of War, who we have been tasked with defending the earth from, so why don’t you and I go find the motherfucker because we have a magic sword here called the Godkiller and it’s not just named that for show in my opinion.

It’s easy to compare this to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, especially with the wraparound showing us that our heroine has survived into the modern day. She even has a colorful backup squad like the Howling Commandos, and it has been pointed out that the actor playing soldier boy Steve Trevor is, like the one playing Steve Rogers, one of the hunky blond Chrises that people who mix up white people can’t tell apart. But it’s a great setting because WWI does not invoke our old fashioned sense of banding together to fight the clear bad guy. This is a murkier war that shows Wonder Woman the tragedy of men battling each other. Her goal is not to win the war but to end the concept of war altogether.

Director Patty Jenkins (MONSTER) – working from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg (writer from tv shows like The O.C. and Sex & the City!?), story by Zack Snyder, Heinberg, Geoff Johns (Blade: The Series) and Jason Fuchs (PAN) – takes a dead-serious approach not too tonally different from the two Snyder-directed Superman movies it connects to. It doesn’t have that much more humor than MAN OF STEEL, but seems to be going over much better with audiences, and I haven’t even heard any charges of comic book heresy yet.

A major difference is that they were trying to reinvent Superman and Batman after 5-7 previous big screen incarnations each, while Wonder Woman is getting her SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE moment. So while MAN OF STEEL and DAWN OF JUSTICE sometimes find their heroes disillusioned about being Superman and Batman, Jenkins doesn’t need to waste time questioning Wonder Woman. She’s free to be glorify her as someone special, someone without cynicism, someone for us all to aspire to be like. Wonder Woman is a bright light shining through the darkness of humanity, the fog of war, even the gloomy colorlessness of the movie around her.

I respect the sincerity. Fantasy conceits like a hidden island of Amazons and a glowing rope that makes people tell the truth are introduced without shame or self-sabotage. When Diana explains to Steve that she was made out of clay and Zeus brought her to life, his scoffing is limited to a “That’s… interesting,” and then it’s never questioned again. Rather than the common “Well, we better try to come up with a better explanation than this” approach to updating comic books, Jenkins goes for “you got a problem with it, sorry – you came to the wrong movie.”

(They don’t mention the invisible plane, but there’s an easter egg where you don’t see it in the background.)

Yes, Wonder Woman is the daughter of a god, unique even on her island of magic, so she inspires awe. Though Snyder chose not to use his usual slow-mo/speed ramping filmatistic style to introduce his Superman, Jenkins (with Snyder’s stunt coordinator/second unit director Damon Caro) wisely cops it for action scenes that show the majesty of Wonder Woman’s powers. We can study and savor the combination of aerial grace and raw strength – a force of invincible goodness marching solemnly through the ugliest horrors of man’s brutality. We’ve all heard that idea that super heroes are our Greek gods, but this is the rare comic book movie that refuses to undermine the mythology with layers of cynicism or sarcasm.

That said, there is definitely some good fish-out-of-water humor here, the awkwardness of a demigoddess hanging out with regular humans, and of the product of a pure matriarchy trying to navigate a male-dominated society. She notes some of their sexist ways the way a Canadian jokes with Americans about everybody having guns.

Don’t worry guys, there is one area in which our society impresses her. One of my favorite moments is when Wonder Woman experiences her first ice cream cone. I hope this will come up in future DC movies. Superman could keep some kind of rare alien ice cream flavor for her in the Fortress of Solitude.

There’s a funny scene in a boat that sums up a particular side of Wonder Woman’s personality. She thinks she and Steve, who she just met, should sleep curled up together for warmth, and he gets flustered and stumbles all over himself. She may or may not understand the sexual connotation of “sleep with me,” but we know she has read a 12 volume book about sexuality and determined that men are mostly useless. When he hesitates, she rolls her eyes incredulously and laughs at his hang ups. It’s a small thing to her, a silly thing, to either be uptight about sex or to be preoccupied with it. She really is above it. She just wants to sleep comfortably.

I believe the conventional wisdom is that DC Comics has the better villains than Marvel Comics. Mostly I think that means Batman villains, since some screen interpretations of The Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman, Bane, Two-Face, the Scarecrow and R’as Al Ghul, have been more memorable than the villains in Marvel movies. (On the other hand, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, Jim Carrey’s Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones’s Two-Face and Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy are in my opinion more embarrassing than any performance in any Marvel movie).

Here the most intriguing bad guy, if only for her look, is a secondary one. Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya, VAN HELSING) is also called Dr. Poison, because she’s the toxins expert that Steve stole the plans from. She wears a partial ceramic masquerade type mask to cover a disfiguration, making her more visually exciting than the other people Wonder Woman faces, primarily just German soldiers. She doesn’t get very much to do, which I don’t think always has to be a criticism. We need look no further than Star Wars for examples of great characters who are left largely in the margins, but I don’t think Dr. Maru is Boba Fett level cool, nor does she have a big pay off like Darth Maul. She’s arguably more of a Zam Wesell.

I realized going into WONDER WOMAN that unlike with most comic book movies I didn’t even know who the villain was gonna be. Turns out it’s mainly Ares, the God of War, and the actor can’t be emphasized because it’s uncertain at the beginning what form, if any, Aries has taken in the modern world. (Not that it’s an exciting reveal when it happens.) There are two fine character actors doing their thing in adversarial roles, neither really allowed to be a truly fun or original character like you hope for. Ares is a strong villain from a story perspective because of how he represents Wonder Woman’s belief that the evils of the world are personified as gods that just need to be killed, and her realization that it’s not that simple. But without a more memorable personality it’s hard to deny that Wonder Woman’s defeat of the bad guy is the weakest and most generic part of the movie, hardly distinguishable from the climax of KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD.

But if you think about it, Wonder Woman has always been more famous for blocking than for hitting. Recently IMDb had a feature on different interpretations of Wonder Woman, and they showed Lynda Carter, Gal Gadot and a cartoon, all in the same pose with bullet proof gauntlets crossed into an X. Until seeing them lined up like that it had never occurred to me how cool it is that Wonder Woman’s iconic pose is a defensive one.

The X is her ultimate move here, so it’s saved for special occasions. But that subtly different take on super-heroism carries into the movie’s most elating scene, when Wonder Woman refuses to accept Steve’s human-truth that they can’t cross a certain combat zone because it’s in a permanent stalemate – a No Man’s Land! She slides out of her cloak, painting red, yellow and blue across the grey background with her uniform and glowing lasso of truth. And she runs in, shield up, deflecting a storm of bullets, turning them into sparks.

By the way it would be cool if she stopped to help War Horse out of some barb wire during this scene. (There actually is a scene where she question’s man’s treatment of animals.)

Oh yeah, and in case nobody has mentioned it, this is the biggest movie ever focusing on a woman or directed by a woman. Maybe some day it won’t be a big deal to see a giant special effects movie about a woman who has her own point of view and controls her own destiny, but right now it’s amazing. Yeah, she meets a guy and I think she likes him, but she doesn’t put him in charge. When he disagrees with her judgment he says, protectively, “I can’t let you do this.” But she informs him, “What I do is not up to you.”

It’s easy to imagine modern dudes who would get their ego bruised by a woman overruling them and calling the shots. They would get belligerent, go home and pout and complain about women on Reddit. But Steve is not that guy, he mans up and does his part to help Wonder Woman stop the war. He knows what up. He recognizes a Wonder Woman when he sees one.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 at 10:08 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

147 Responses to “Wonder Woman”

  1. Gal still looks too scrawny for Wonder Woman, but I can live with it if the movie’s good and they do a good job with the character. I mean, Tom Cruise didn’t remotely look like how Jack Reacher is described in the books(6’5, 250 pounds, built kinda like a gorilla, rugged and reasonably handsome in a rough sorta way but specifically described as NOT having “movie star good looks”), but he had the personality down pat so I overlooked it there, too.

    Eisenberg’s Lux Luthor on the other hand, fuck that performance with a 2×4.

  2. Best live-in version of a comic character since Chris Evans, or at least Paul Bettany as Vision

  3. *live-action

  4. That’s funny, I just discovered that disco cover of the theme song a few weeks ago. You kind of need to see the cover art to get the full effect, though.

    The Wonderland Band - Wonder Woman

    Find a The Wonderland Band - Wonder Woman first pressing or reissue. Complete your The Wonderland Band collection. Shop Vinyl and CDs.

  5. Gal Gadot doesn’t look that scrawny to me.

  6. And of course most of the comments are about her appearance because of course they are.

  7. I already feel bad about the snideness of that comment, but come on, you guys.

  8. Very satisfied by this one. Best live action DC film since TDK (sorry MOS, WATCHMEN and TDKR fans). I’m so proud of Gal. She Christopher Reevesd the shit out of the movie and she Pine really anchored it legitly despite it’s shortcomings.

    I appreciate that they took it back to SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE with this one and proved that formula still works. She wasn’t broody nor was she overtly conflicted. Just a powerful person with a good heart ready and willing to do the right thing. Just pure unadulterated wish fullfillment that inspires. Not something that further reminds us of the shitty world we live in and those that occupt it.

    So refreshing since so many superhero movies have gotten away from that. Last one I remember was the first Cap which I really dug for the same reasons.

    Relative to that I hope that when Supes comes back from the grave (SPOILER) he is a beacon of good that inspires right away. He needs to resonate hope. Please no “brainwashed by the forces of Apokolips to fight the JL nonsense.” enough with superheroes bickering among themselves.

    Superman is supposed to be the light of the DCU. Batman the darkness. Wonder Woman the middle ground between them (light and dark) and Dick Grayson the full blown product of the great influence of the Trinity. These movies cannot forget that if they want to coast on smoothly. That is exactly why many stick with the comics in the first place.

    I hope WB learns a lesson from this and leaves their filmmakers alone. You hire them for their vision then trust in it. Stop micromanaging them. Jenkins more than proved that.

  9. It’s very fitting that the best thing that Snyder did for the universe he created and one of the most polarizing ones (casting Gal as Diana) is what has pretty much redeemed it in the eyes of millions. Poetic justice.

    Now people on a greater level could finally understand that there is so much more awesomeness to mine out of the DC mythos than just fucking Superman and Batman and that the likes of Wonder Woman and Aquaman are more than just cool looking t-shirt props.

    I expect Aquaman in all it’s James Wan-ness to completely crush it. Especially since it will be the first superhero movie with a legit and equal power couple (Arthur & Mera) as the headliners.

  10. Went with the whole family to see this in a huge, packed theater on Saturday night. Everyone (including seemingly the entire rest of the audience) had a blast. I came away feeling this was the movie Man of Steel should have been. Wonder Woman was presented as authentically inspirational: strong, self-possessed, funny, brave and selfless, as well as a total badass. The slow-mo “check out this awesome moment of action!” technique is usually gratuitous and a momentum killer (in my opinion) — here it was used perfectly, deftly emphasizing the protagonist’s combination of raw power, grace and fighting skills in a series of moments that had us and the whole crowd clapping and cheering, every time. Chris Pine was a great sidekick and I really liked their ragtag, multiethnic band of buddies (though I wish they’d been given more to do). I completely agree with Vern about the novelty of setting this in WWI instead of II, though the movie did leave me wondering: [SPOILER, sort of] what did Wonder Woman do during WWII in this universe? If she saw this war as an unacceptable manifestation of Ares’ corrupting influence on mankind, it’s hard to picture her sitting on the sidelines of what came a few years later. And what about Korea, Vietnam, civil wars in Africa…? I can’t imagine any rational person in the world of Man of Steel coming away from the events of that movie seeing Superman as anything other than a terrifying threat (“Look, up in the sky — it’s one of those aliens who wrecked Metropolis, run!!”), but this movie sets up Wonder Woman as someone people around the world could see as their champion. And not just Americans either–she consistently presents herself as someone who is not standing up for or against a particular side in the war; she’s fighting against war itself. There’s a lot of room for kick-ass sequels here guys! Get on it.

  11. Also I remember for the longest time (like the last 11 yrs or so) every single Wonder Woman fan convo I took part in online devolved into people cursing Heinberg for his mediocre run on the Wonder Woman. Well he certainly has redeemed himself and all while working off a Zack Snyder story to boot. Impressive.

  12. Also people say DC villains always trumped Marvel ones for the same reason many people always felt DC told more enduring stories (ie: Sandman, Watchmen, All-Star Superman, The Dark Knight Returns) than Marvel: it’s in the comics.

    The Flash for example has one of the greatest assortment of villains in all of comics and the likes of Black Manta, Sinestro, Trigon, Deathstroke and Black Adam (soon to be played by The Rock) have entire highlight reels dedicated to their masterful villainy. This without even getting into the Superman or Batman baddies. Or even Wonder Woman (the god of war always being her archnemesis).

    Marvel only really had Dr. Doom, Magneto, The Leader, Red Skull and Spidey villains (like Kingpin or Doc Ock) to match. I liked Bullseye, Taskmaster and Jigsaw too but most Marvel fans don’t even acknowledge their dopeness. Probably cause they haven’t been represented properly in movies, cartoons or netflix yet (their only real exposure to Marvel characters).

    When it comes to movies unfortunately for Marvel Studios they can’t really use any of them big dogs outside of The Leader and Spidey rogues and Hugo Weaving refuses to reprise Red Skull.

  13. I’m sure they can recast Red Skull.

    Does WW have weird touches that you people go gaga over?

  14. The sincerity is definitely what made it stand out. Even the good Marvel movies undercut their heroes with meta jokes. That’s fun but man, wouldn’t it be great if the lesson to learn from Wonder Woman is that sincerity works?

  15. Oh and that invible plane Easter egg cracked me up. One of Vern’s best.

  16. Amy Johnston will always be my one and only Wonder Woman. Fantastic martial artist and actress.

  17. So I’m not the only one around here that has seen LADY BLOODFIGHT after all?

  18. I agree Fred the earnestness is something I want to see in all these DCEU going forward. WB needs to realize that unapolgetically embracing absurdity is one of DC’s strengths. That’s why there was a pre-crisis defense force around for so many years in fandom. In other words yes give us Krypto The Superdog but don’t have anybody go “wow it’s some kind of Super…Dog” waka waka waka keep as simple as Kal-El totally going “it was my family’s dog on Krypton” with a straight face and just leave it be.

  19. Broddie- I´ve seen LADY BLOODFIGHT enough times to make Amy my own superhero. This whole Gal Gadot bullshit is just window dressing for the noobs and masses.

  20. Saw this the other day and thought it was a good mix of MAN OF STEEL and CAPTAIN AMERICA but at the end, when WW was back in Paris… there was the sound of bangs and she went out to fight. Was that supposed to be the Bataclan shootings/Paris terror bombings? That’s how it felt and it made me feel a bit queasy that bit.

  21. Fantastic review as always but you are incorrect on a minor technical point, Jamie Foxx in spiderman 2 (series 2) is the most embarrassing superhero movie villain portrayal.

  22. I’ve not yet seen WW but it’s super fucking heartening to see it getting such a stellar reception from almost everywhere.

    Amy Johnston is pretty great, and LADY BLOODFIGHT is mostly pretty good, too (apart from the shaky cam during roughly half of the fights and the appearance of…well, you’ll see).

    Alas, her new one, FEMALE FIGHT CLUB is only kinda OK at best, and would probably work better as a drama as the fights are piss poor (but it *does* have Dolph in it, which is a plus, obviously).

  23. is the problem that Gal Gadot isn’t a martial artist and Amy Johnston is because it can’t be because of appearance. (not like looks but physical height and weight)

  24. Ben C: In BVS she says that she turned her back on humanity 100 years ago. I took that to mean that she was disillusioned and saddened by what happened with her experience here in this movie that she mostly stayed out of further conflicts like WWII. I wondered if the sequel would be another period piece, or jump forward to more modern day.

    Like most everyone else here, I really enjoyed the earnestness of this one and it would be sad to see a disillusioned Diana, but I have faith that whatever they do will be good.

    One little touch I liked regarding the idea of war and Ares and all that *SPOILER* was how he said something about setting up the armistice to continue the anger and violence. Since the treaties and reparations coming out of WWI are a big cause of WWII, I thought that was interesting.

  25. *SPOILERS* Limey – I thought the exact same thing – she’s in Paris in a room underground, she feels a rumble and we faintly hear an explosion above (on the street), and then it cuts to her jumping to fight who exactly? I mean, if it IS terrorists, then that’s kinda off-putting and insensitive, but if it’s not, then that’s one hell of a muddled way to leave it. (i.e. if it’s a supernatural monster/tease for the opening of Justice League, they should have showed whatever it is. If it’s just a bunch of no-good thieves, we should have seen the “oh shit” look on their faces as she comes to kick their ass) Leaving it ambiguous while setting it in Paris is just really weird.

    Also thought the Ares thing was muddled as well – so did he have a hold on men’s minds or not? I mean the movie and Chris Pine and Ares himself claim “it’s not as simple as there being just one bad guy”, men are actually assholes, etc… but then once she defeats him, all the Germans and the good guys start hugging? (I guess another reason this was set in WWI instead of WWII since I don’t think people would be ok w/ Hugging Nazis). So which is it? And if he did control them, then how did WWII and all the other wars Ben C. mentioned start? I guess I would have just liked one line where WW mentions that the wars went on even after Ares was gone, or that maybe Ares was still around and could never fully be defeated, something instead of just kicking us right back into the framing device. (Not to mention wasn’t she jaded and had turned her back on humanity in BvS? I guess they didn’t want to end this origin story with her being sour on the world but it’s still a strange choice to contradict her last movie)

    But these are all nitpicks- this is a fantastic movie, smart and exciting and surprisingly sensitive. It’s full of heart and rich character development while still delivering on big-ass spectacle, and it’s “woke” without being obnoxious about it. Easily best film of the DCEU and better than almost all Marvel movies. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (in only two movies) has already claimed the throne as best superhero working today. (Yes, even supplanting Downey, Evans, Ryan Reynolds, whoever). Serious question – I’m sure Gadot doesn’t have a shot in hell of getting a Best Actress Oscar nomination, but we can all agree here she was better than Russell Crowe’s Oscar-winning performance in Gladiator, right? I mean, it’s an entirely different performance than Sigourney Weaver’s Oscar-nominated turn in Aliens, but I think she’s just as good. Hopefully word of mouth will keep this movie going and come award season she’ll get something besides an MTV movie award/Kid’s Choice Award.

  26. Imma go the other way on the appearance front, since it’s an element not directly in Vern’s review. This is not only one of the first female-centric superhero movies, but also one where the male sidekick’s function is explicitly, in part, as a sex object. Pine’s character and the Diana relationship is definitely fully developed, which Verne expertly pointed out with the sleeping on the boat scene, but before that there’s a whole scene of Chris Pine in a cave bath, where the camera oogles the guy. There’s a number of ways that scene could have been depicted, but it seemed to me like Jenkins’ opted for a female gaze sort of route. First, his twirling his foot around in the bath, then he gets out and he’s the one who is embarrassed and covers up, but is still showcased. That scene and the one in the boat is sort of the lead-up to Diana Trevor’s slow dancing into romance scene, which felt decidely old-fashioned and played straight, but again in a good way like most of this movie.

  27. The first scene that got big applause when I saw it was when Diana was yelling at the British generals for sending soldiers to die when they stay sitting behind a desk. It’s funny but also you see genuine passion coming from Diana as she’s genuinely outraged, telling these old guys in uniforms “I’m ashamed of you! You should be ashamed!” It’s the moment fell i love with Gal Gadot, not just in lust with her.

  28. The one unanimous standing o and applause showcase at my show was that sniper scene. Pitch perfect. Seriously the next Superman film really has it’s work cut out for it.

  29. Broddie, count me as a fan of Amy Johnston as well. I’ve seen LADY BLOODFIGHT and FEMALE FIGHT CLUB.

  30. Decent flick. A good time. It occupies about the same space as the first Captain America flick for me. Really endearing lead, decent storytelling, frustratingly adequate, as opposed to knock it outta the park action set peices. Dug Miss Gadot’s performance. Having not much besides her Fast & Furious appearances to go on, it was a cool relief to see she’s got some solid acting chops.
    However, given the 2 Charlie’s Angels, and the 2 Tomb Raider flicks released over a decade ago, and the Hunger Games, and Divergent franchises, and The Force Awakens, and Rogue One and pretty much no contemperary action movie/ franchise/show being without a cover girl man tossing heroine front and center, the pretense of WW being this revolutionary punch thru a glass ceiling is a bit of a head scratcher.

  31. Rogue – I take your point, those are good comparisons, but Wonder Woman feels to me more centered on its heroine, her needs and perspective, and they are even presented as values she learned from growing up in an all female society. Steve is second banana to her, nobody else feels like a main character.

    I never saw the last HUNGER GAMES, but she had become such a passive character just doing what people told her to do that she was not interesting. I have not seen DIVERGENT. And I love the CHARLIE’S ANGELSes but don’t see them in the same genre. But you’re right that they are starting to improve the roles for women in these types of movies (some of them), but this step forward is bigger enough that it feels novel.

  32. Heh heh, Like Woah, Main Man. Didn’t see that comin. “Become such a passive character…” ? Katniss?? More like her driving motivation was protecting her family/Peeta. To that end, she was willing to play along with/into the rebel underground’s agenda. Which she didn’t know, nor care to, anything about. But as she gets wise to more, and then *more*, she goes all in. Seemed to me, relunctant hero steps into higher purpose 101 type stuff. And frankly, on a basis of performance and characterizational substance and range, solid and endearing as Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was, J Law’s Katniss puts her under the table 6 days a week and twice on Sunday.

  33. Don’t have anything to add really but I did really enjoy this one. To kind of follow-up Rogue4’s point: As much as I enjoyed this one I can’t help but feel people are totally blowing the quality of this thing out the water. I fear a backlash may end up descending upon this one in due time. As for this one heralding a new age of female lead and directed movies: I really hope it does (see my comments in the RESIDENT EVIL THE FINAL CHAPTER thread) but I’ll believe it when I see it.
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    What did you guys think of keeping David Thewlis after his identify is reveled. My brother really liked the movie as but that totally took him out of the movie having WONDER WOMAN fight a scrawny-British-character-actor during the climax. He thinks they should have went the usual way of just have him turn into a cartoon for her to fight. I thought the idea was so off-the-wall I kinda loved it and made the typical cliched final fight more interesting.

  34. *SPOILER* Geoffrey- I actually didn’t mind keeping Thewlis around, if he morphed into something else it would have been like the Original “Blood Tornado” ending to Blade 1 and we know how that turned out. Besides, his very first appearance, while not exactly a surprise like Vern mentioned, got an audible gasp from my audience the way he just showed up, casually reading a map like it was no big deal. Followed up by his cool single-take disappearing/reappearing trick – I think the movie did the smart thing by using horror movie shorthand to let the audience immediately know this older British dude is a real threat and has powers even Diana doesn’t have. It’s very Gabriel Byrne-in-End of Days, which is a good thing in my book.

    Plus keeping him in human form instead of another Doomsday gives him a pretty cool moment – cobbling together a suit of armor out of scrap metal and melting two slits for the eyes with his fingers? Completely badass.

  35. Vern- You may be pleasantly surprised by the last half hour or so of the last Hunger Games movie. I know I was. That’s all I’ll say

  36. geoffrey, I know what you mean. Haven’t seen the movie yet and so far it seems like most people genuinely like it, because it actually deserves it, but it seems like we as a society rate “female driven movies” by completely different standards (“It’s a fun popcorn movie, but because it stars and is made by a woman, IT’S THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!”), out of an understandable but misguided attempt at feminist empowerment. I’m not even sure if the movie does so great at the box office because “Audiences were hungry for a female superhero”*, like the press claims. It’s most likely because it’s fucking WONDER WOMAN, who is one of the most reconizable comic heroes, and the trailers looked cool enough. If this would’ve been a movie version of Valiant comic’s FAITH, I’m not sure it would’ve been a similar smash hit, because it lacks the brand recognition.

    *Not saying that they weren’t or that it’s unnecessary to make movies with them.

  37. WW was a really good movie to base a franchise or universe off of. It should have been the first one to build the DC movie universe because the tone of both Supermans (MoS and BvS) were so completely off. I am not a fan of the CGI fireworks spectacular that tends to end the superhero type film but I did like the concept that love will always defeat the cycle of war and that what you believe in matters. Its anti-cynical.

    It is weird that Amy Johnston was mentioned here since I recently watched Lady Bloodfight. It was okay and I think I know what karlos is referring to about something popping up (that was very weirdly Star Wars-like). The fights were pretty good but I think they could have done with slightly steadier and wider shots. I also feel the whole “skeezy men watching women fight” trope is kinda overdone at this point.

    I don’t think she would have been a good fit for this type of role but I did watch some clips of her fighting on youtube. (The Gate is really good, where she is fighting Cecep Arif Rahman of The Raid 2!) She has the physicality to carry off a lead action role and I am definitely looking forward to Accident Man once that has finished filming and is released.

  38. Setting aside the transparent misogyny deployed against this film (ironicaly MRAs appear to be my very own Ares, in that their very existence makes me want to do violence) a lot of the dismissal or questioning of the quality of the film elides the particular relevance of what this film means to 52% of the audience.

    For men it’s a good superhero movie with some virtue signals. Hurray for us.

    For women, based on what is being written and reported, seeing the film is to pull one memorable quote from an article in (maybe Huffington Post) were the author describes her experience as like seeing with glasses for the first time. I don’t think the case that women labour under male supremacy can be overstated, this world, our civilized and “better” world has been build with bricks that tell women they are inferior, that they are objects for pleasure and reproduction that they should be happy with their lot in life because subservience to male wants and needs are the natural order.

    For women it’s a rare glimpse of clear sky and the fact that so many men are so keen to downplay this only reinforces the need for feminism*.

    A lot of men commenting on this seem too eager to disregard the fact that this film is different because it’s different for women and not for them.

    Privilege does hate to be challenged.

    *Feminism is by the way, about equality and equally frees men from the cage of machismo that makes so many of us miserable and drives young men to depression and suicide as they flail helplessly against the impossibility of living to the standards of masculine actualization impressed on us.

    **PS: I wanted some of the Amy Johnston shorts and immediately pitched my friends on crowdfunding a sequel where she ‘fights’ Roosh V

  39. Always taken a little aback by the cognative dissonance of the “Patriarchy hurts men too” spiel. Cause a patriarchy that hurts men too… doesn’t sound to me like much of a patriarchy. Sounds like a patriarchy that really sucks at it’s job. To the point of being totally inconsequential. To the point that it’s as much of an actual thing as Big Foot.

  40. Yes, words can be confusing when you’re being willfully obtuse.

  41. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 8:54 am

    The Patriarchy hurts the average man, while preserving the interests of those at the top. That’s not hard to understand at all. Pretending to be stupid to score a point usually backfires, in my experience.

  42. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 9:03 am

    “Durrrr men die A LOT earlier than women because they live in a society that constantly tells them to aggressively take charge of every situation and constantly be an alpha that never backs down and supPress a huge amount of emotion and take responsibility for everything that happens and this stress literally kills them but how is this bad for the average person?”

  43. (They don’t mention the invisible plane, but there’s an easter egg where you don’t see it in the background.)

    That’s GOLD, Vern!!!

  44. Okay, once more for you and everyone in the nosebleed section, Maj. Men make up the vast (as in not even close) majority of victims of violent crime, workplace injuries/deaths, suicides, the homeless, the incacerated, the drug and alcohol addicted, the railroaded in divorce/family court. Men are afforded no “reproductive rights”, nor are they so much as entitled to maintain the integrity of their reproductive *anatomy*. Nothing that squintingly resembles the barest bare minimum of logic can reconcile that level and scope of negative outcomes for males with the existence of a “patriarchy”. But of course, logical bare minimums aren’t modern “manspreading” feminism’s strong suit.

  45. Imshi nails it. It’s working differently for a section of the audience. Ideally a good movie can work equally for everyone but sometimes there are more specific factors. I think for a lot of people, this is the first time they’ve experienced another audience liking a movie much more than they do. For others, it’s a normal occurance to go “That marvel movie or raunchy sex comedy was all right but I think the praise is going a little overboard.”

    The thing is, you don’t have to like Wonder Woman as much as other people. It can be there for them and there are plenty of movies that are more tailored to you too.

    Although one of the great things about movies is getting to empathize with experiences different from your own. The need to convince others to like it less to validate your asssessment seems selfish to me. How is that a good thing to reduce enjoyment of a piece of art (at least one without socially damnable values)? What does it take to change the essence of a man?

  46. “What does it take to change the essence of a man?” That is easy. Castration.

  47. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Not going to interact further with this Rogue4 guy other than to say that I was wrong. The stupid thing is not an act.

  48. Don’t worry about it, Crushinator. It’s Roguetown: a place where men have been in charge of everything since the beginning of time and yet they’re somehow the victims when shit doesn’t go their way.

  49. Ahhh, if only snark equaled cogent counter-argument. Guess that’s just to high a hurdle in Crushville and Majburg.

  50. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    @Rogue4:

    Like there’s any sort of argument that could convince you. You’re a fat fucking virgin whose bad with women and, pathetically, you’ve chosen to cope with your bad situation by inventing an evil conspiracy of Feminist masterminds to keep you (and other men) down. Bad news: you’re just a loser, the rest of us are doing fine. Rather than bleat about the toothless corporate feminism of Wonder Woman, here’s some advice: eat some vegetables, do some burpees, and get some self-respect and in a few months you might be able to touch a boob. You’ll feel better, believe me.

  51. Am I the only one who is a bit amused by the fact that several men here are fighting over the meaning of patriarchy and if and how it represses us penis carriers? I can’t decide if life just gave us a brillant piece of multifaceted satire or a stupid kneeslapper on Adult Swim level that totally misses the point.

  52. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Actually, it’s just one guy whining about family court and being told to shut up, IMO.

  53. Crushinator Jones

    June 9th, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Like I could launch into my whole class spiel about how guys like Rogue4 are actually being oppressed by a over-class of wealthy corporate people that include both men and women (but are overwhelmingly men) who fostered this “a man’s duty” baloney in order to get us all to work ourselves to death for their enrichment but honestly who gives a shit? Nobody cares, death is certain, enjoy Wonder Woman.

  54. It’s an alright superhero movie.

    Unfortunately for me the scene that will stick with me is the germans hugging the good guys crew, which goes against the entire theme of the movie

  55. Heh heh, that’s it Crush. Keep bangin your head on that hurdle. I’ll just sit here marinating in the irony of getting the manlier than thou smackdown from an individual that can only manage to “argue” like a stereotypical (apologies Main Main, strictly for the sake of makin a point here) b!+ch.

    “You’re a bitter loser… can’t get laid… never been laid… blahbitty blah blah blah…” think of those all by yerself girlfriend? Aint we impressed.

    And you’re the one co-signing on, *dun dun dun*, “The Patriarchy” Crush. Which is to say that the only of us pimping inane conspiracy crap is you. My comments merely challenged/refuted said inane conspiracy crap. No more.

  56. Wonder Woman wouldn’t want us to be fighting like this.

  57. Wonder Woman would want peace, but she’d also kick Rogue4 in the balls.

    But I'm A Nice Guy - YouTube

    FIRST, this is the original: https://vimeo.com/64941331 All credits to Scott Benson. I just wanted to bring this here to youtube cause it's awesome.

  58. When You-Know-Who didn’t come back to haunt us for COVENANT I kind of lost fate in the Keyboard Terrorist Empire. But here we are…

  59. What’s going on here is why I skipped WONDER WOMAN, this movie has become politicized and nothing sucks the fun out of something faster than when it becomes more grist for the nerds vs feminists mill.

    Not saying I’ll never see it but I decided to skip seeing it in theaters because going to the movies is pretty expensive these days y’all and I can’t work up the motivation to spend the money when I’m distracted by the never ending nerds vs feminists culture war that regardless of whose side you are on I think we can all agree has gotten old, right? I mean how long has this been going on? For half a decade maybe?

  60. Griff, you might as well see it, because this isn’t going away until the morons give up.

  61. Or maybe she’d be woefully underimpressed with your feminist idealogical lense driven level of “analysis”, Crusty.

  62. So….. Is Wonder Woman a good movie?

  63. I believe that Wonder Woman’s attendance had a higher percentage of women than your average film, so I definitely think there’s something to be said about representation in big blockbuster and superhero movies.

    I also wonder if Jenkins’s work on a small character study also hugely benefited this movie. Diana and Steve Trevor felt like flesh and blood people, and one of the reasons why this is one of the more enjoyable superhero films is because of their obvious chemistry. Gadot and Pine get credit there, but so should the director. Also, Jenkins allowed certain scenes to breath. I like the Marvel films, but they are always worried that the audience won’t be able to handle quiet moments or longer character moments. They’re just these machines (often well put together machines) that chug along at a clipped pace.

  64. Do you think we’re going to have to deal with white people being annoying about the hype around Black Panther the same way some males have been absolute cunts about women and their love of Wonder Woman?

  65. What makes you think we DON’T have to deal with that? It’s just too bad that it again will be a small minority being shitroosters and the media will take the bait and act like large crowds are picketing movie theatres, when in fact just some reddit threads and a few neo nazi websites fear that BLACK PANTHER will take all their white power away from them.

  66. You know, I used to think that the media was magnifying the number of racist shitheads who got upset because Idris Elba got cast in a small role in a Thor film or whatever, but then last November happened. Explicit racism and misogyny are out in the streets again. Political parties in the U.S. and across Europe have become incredibly successful by describing the world in racist terms. I would love to think that this sort of vile attitude only exists in the deepest trenches of the internet, but you only need to look at the world as it is to see that this is not true. You either have to be blind or daft not to see that.

  67. I doubt it. On the whole, audiences are embracing strong non-white-guy lead characters in action films (if the film is good), and that’s definitely the trajectory. You’re always going to have people who are geographically or emotionally isolated from young people and diversity and who are acting out of fear , insecurity, and perceived sense of increasing marginalization of their white guy tribe. For those people and others, these are subjectively scary times. That said, I’m not sure it’s productive to do vitriolic, head-on, escalatory verbal battle with that kind of thinking (though I’ve certainly succumbed to the temptation more than once on this websight!). It might be best to starve all that bullshit of oxygen by not engaging it (I mean on message boards and shit, I’m not saying one should be politically apathetic). Eventually, being an isolated, bunker mentality neo-Archie Bunker just gets exhausting, and it repels people. The mentality will never die-out completely, but I think it’s on the wane overall.

  68. The internet has allowed an awful lot of people to show their true colors on matters of race and gender, there’s no denying it, and it’s really not pretty at all.

    The “women only” screenings of WONDER WOMAN were clearly meant to be a little bit of fun, designed to provoke a reaction in dickheads and boy, did it open the door to those fuckers letting off misogynist steam like crazy.

  69. But, Karlos, my point is that this isn’t just an internet phenomenon. Racism and misogyny were always lurking beneath the surface of society, and they’ve spread not only into the streets but also into the halls of government. Racism and misogyny have had a banner years. There was a recent study that suggested that people are more willing to express racist views when they’ve been prompted with the similarly racist viewpoint of someone in power.

    And, yeah, Skani, I try to avoid arguing with people about this crap on the internet because it’s rare that you’re going to change anyone’s mind. (Confronting racism out in the real world is a different matter, though).

  70. I know, the world looks shitty right now and it’s hard to make a point for the good in all of us when Trump and Co are happening, but come on, most people ARE actually good and the racist and sexist fuckers ARE the minority.

  71. CJ–I’m not sure that the racist and sexist fuckers are the minority. I hope so. But I also don’t think it’s easy to sort people into categories of non-racists/sexists and definitely racists/sexists. I think for a lot of people, this sort of bigotry is within them, and they just need economic pressure or a demagogue to come around and voice these views to trigger them into these vitriolic beasts. They’re like wereracists, and Trump is the full moon. And even if they’re outnumbered, there are still enough of them to bring down an entire country if we don’t push back.

  72. I agree that they are too much of them. Like WAY too much. And that they are not all Nazi parole yelling rednecks with MAGA hats. But (to use a small scale example) that WONDER WOMAN is the #1 movie in the world right now, without screenings turning into MRA activist riots or that the people who show up at anti-Trump or women rights demos outnumber the average Neo Nazi demo by millions, should tell you about the decency of the average human being. Technically most people didn’t even vote for Trump! It’s just that the good guys are most of the time too good to spend their time yelling at assholes on the comment section. Not to mention that “Average human being did not assault Neo Nazi” is unfortunately a headline that you will never read.

  73. You’re right that we need to look to victories big and small. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed and cynical, and that’s also unproductive.

  74. Remember the days when nerds’ mortal enemy were jocks? Who would have thought that nerds’ true mortal enemy would be feminists?

    It makes sense because nerd culture has traditionally, fundamentally been about male power fantasies for powerless, insecure, more often than not single men, so any perception that anyone’s trying to take that way is of course going to be met with hell to pay.

    And to a degree I can sympathize, why don’t men deserve their fantasies? One of the biggest pop cultural phenomenon of the 2010s is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, which is a total load of horseshit, like Twilight before it but it taps into a fantasy a lot of women evidently have, it’s not too far removed from harlequin romance novels and I don’t see a million think pieces about how problematic the shirtless Fabio lookalike dudes on the covers are the same way you see that for a scantily clad woman on the cover of a comic book or video game.

    People need their fantasies regardless of whether they always fall in line with political correctness, it does seem kinda hypocritical and cruel to demand that anything male oriented has to change to fit equality while anything female oriented is fine as it is.

    All I’m saying is nerds and feminists should have left each other the fuck alone and let each do their own thing because there’s no winning this culture war, to quote WARGAMES the only winning move is to not play.

  75. Right, Griff, but how do you do a dope WONDER WOMAN movie that isn’t feminist on some level? She’s a bad-ass warrior chick.

  76. Right, WONDER WOMAN has always had a feminist bent and I feel like had this movie been made 7 or so years ago no one would have cared that it had a feminist bent, it’s only because of the war between nerds and feminists does it become a big friggin’ deal.

    History is going repeat itself with BLACK PANTHER even though again, it’s a character that dates back decades and in the past nerds would not have had a problem with it, but it’s because there’s this perception that progressive politics are antithetical to nerd culture do we get this whining and moaning.

  77. So we’re a society of seething, profound “wereracism”… that elected a black man to the highest office in the land… twice. And we’re also a society of profound misogyny… where any woman can pursue/live any life she damn well pleases… and a big budget Super-Heroine movie can be greenlit, and become, by all objective measures, a mainstresm cross-over hit. This “wereracism” and misogyny must sleep pretty late.

  78. I don’t necessarily identify with nerd culture, so I can’t say I’m expert, but is it really that monolithic, or is it just a vocal contingent of nerds. Typically, isn’t the nerd the more sensitive enlightened soul?

  79. These glass-half-full vs. half-empty arguments about racism and sexism also feel like a big angry circle jerk. I feel like some progressives undermine their credibility by acting as though the societal injustices today are every bit as bad as the 50s and before, but then conservatives do the same time by acting like an existence proof of an awesome glass ceiling being broken somehow demonstrates that racism or sexism don’t exist anywhere in any forms. It’s an argument that’s cast in such gaping broad strokes that it’s practically built to perpetuate itself by allowing people to talk past each other.

  80. Maybe I’ve just been ignorant to it, but is there really any substantial backlash to the WONDER WOMAN movie? I know there has been regarding the all-women screenings, but I haven’t seen anything about the movie itself. What I’ve found kinda beautiful about this is that it’s not just a movie about a female superhero, but it’s one that all types of people were excited to see. Again, perhaps I’m just looking at the wrong web sites.

  81. Look a little closer Skani, the text included “seething” and “profound”. Prevalence/degree is precisely what was spoken to. Respecfully, conflating challenging given race/sexism narratives with denying the *existence* of “isms” is itself an all to typical bit of sophistry in these types of convos.

  82. And there it is, Mr Palermo. You haven’t missed a thing.

  83. grimgrinningchris

    June 10th, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Rogue, your argument is completely legless.

    Yes, we elected a black president. But it also brought out such a vocal and unabashed contingent of screamingly racist fucktards and nationalists, and millions more quietly, more subtly racist dirtbags now feel empowered and vindicated in their beliefs by it. That is exactly how we wound up with Trump in the White House.

    Look, I try as much as humanly possible to be color blind… but I draw the line at orange.

  84. grimgrinningchris

    June 10th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    And let me preface this by saying that I love how civil the talkbacks on Vern’s site remain, even in the most heated debates…

    …but if you think that having had a black president is ANY sort of “proof” that racism is not a problem in this country, then you sir are a fucking idiot.

  85. Got it Grimgrinningchris. Now just link us some clips of all those triggered “wereracists” in masks, throwing, violent, window breaking, firestarting riots, in Nov. 08… or 2012… Ya know, like right here and now Antifa Trump “protesters”. Certainly such clips should exist. What could be more triggering to a roiling underbelly of virulent outright and closet bigots? How could such a contingent not have gone thermonuclear in the face of (cartoon redneck voice) a dang burn “negra”, being elected… twice. What, were these, “Whitewalkers”, just like dormently asleep under the ice through it all?

    No GGC, you have only yourself and likeminded individuals’ flagrant aduse of *ism*accusations, leveled to marginlize/defame any and every right of center person/viewpoint, to blame for the election of the cheetoh dusted clown. So stop with the projection. The backlash, ironically enough, was against your bigoted crap.

  86. Rogue, I don’t think you really understood my point. Many people have racist feelings at some level. These don’t always manifest themselves. Someone who has racist feelings don’t necessarily join the alt-right or march around in a SS gear. In fact, on a day to day basis, you probably won’t hear them say anything racist. However, if they feel economically threatened, or if culture changes so that it’s more acceptable to express racist viewpoints, then they’re going to be more open about expressing racist sentiment. This isn’t controversial, and I’ve read about a few studies that back this up.

    So after three decades of a shrinking middle class and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Trump comes out and make explicitly racist appeals to white voters. And then these voters cast their ballot for this guy. During Obama’s campaign, he ran an excellent campaign that promised to save these same people from the economic hardships that had been occurring. They voted for him despite his race, because he seemed like he could turn things around.

    My point is, people are complicated. People who hold racist sentiments, don’t always express those feelings except under certain conditions. My point is, these conditions have been met.

    I’ve found this article to be a pretty good explanation of this dynamic:

    Why Did Some White Obama Voters Go for Trump?

    I did not grow up in a place where black Americans predominated. Where I lived, whites were the clear majority. And while I moved through black spaces, ...

  87. Rogue4 – I try not to instantly jump down someone’s throat if they go against the grain and have alternative viewpoints, provided they aren’t total assholes about it, but son, if you’re stilling trotting out the “America elected Obama, therefore racism is over” argument you need to stop, the fact that America followed him up with Trump invalidates that argument now and forever, in fact it’s kind of absurd to me to see someone still say that in the age of President Whitelash.

    Don’t get me wrong, the fact that America elected Obama does say good things about us, but the fact that we followed him up with Trump says bad things, it’s proof that racism is still a serious problem in America.

  88. Well Griff, it seems that your reading comprehension is severely lacking, sir. Because absolutely nowhere did I say that our society’s 2 time election of Obama to the Presidency, meant that racism was “over”. I am however emphatically stating that it means that racism no longer exist to a profound, life limiting degree in contemporary America. Because it means exactly that, and no less. Our society is either one that is capable of choosing a black man to hold the highest position of authority, *twice*, or one of profound, pervasive racism. It can’t be both. Barack Obama’s election and re-election kinda narrows it down. And no amount of leftist race-hussle smearing of Trump or the voters who opted against a transparently dishonest corrupt pantsuit, *trumps* that observation of tangible reality based logic. I mean that’s what really rolls my eyes. How you and others can assert racism as the self evident explanation for the electoral outcome, as if the voters tossed aside Joan of Arc… Mother Teresa… Wonder Woman… for the reality show clown. Or as if the Obama Presidency was a stellar success. As if voters couldn’t have had anything of substance to be displeased with in the results of Obama’s governance. Sorry friendo, sell that BS to the tourists.

  89. “I am however emphatically stating that it means that racism no longer exist to a profound, life limiting degree in contemporary America.”

    Wow, you really believe that? You really believe that a person’s race hasn’t cost them their life over the last 8 years? Trayvon Martin? Eric Garner? Michael Brown? Tamir Rice? Alton Sterling? Philando Castile? These were all cases were racism was at the very least an influential factor in situations that escalated to the point where it cost someone’s life where it may not have otherwise.

    You got me sounding like a “SJW” which I don’t appreciate, as I try to be a centrist in these very polarized times, but come on man, wake up to reality.

  90. Again Griff, ya seem to be having trouble appreciating the concept of *prevalence*. Do racist/over aggressive/abusive police officers exist? Absolutely. Do unjustified shootings of unarmed supects happen? Absolutely. Does there exist an *Epidemic* of badged racist assassins, gunning down brothers with impunity in contemporary America? Absolutely not. As your notably parsed, “… racism was at the very least…” caveat kinda gives away. Might that parsing have to do with you knowing that in a number of the cited cases, the facts of said cases contest or outright disprove the racial narrative. Michael Brown was caught on video “strong arm” robbing a shop and was subsequently shot while physically assaulting a police officer attempting to question/detain him for his erratic movements in the middle of the street. His assault on the officer was attested to by black eyewitnesses. Incidentally the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was put forth by his companion in the shop robbery. George Zimmerman’s tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin happened while the young man was astride him, slamming the back of his head on the pavement. As no history of racist behavior in this *white-hispanic’s* past came to light over the course of the subsequent media storm or trial, I don’t think it’s fair to cavalierly assign racism to his motives/actions. Video footage of the tragic shooting of Tamir Rice showed him to be reaching for an airsoft replica pistol ( lacking the orange ring at barrel tip) at his waist. Subsequent to him pointing it at people in the gang activity reputed park he was hanging out at. Which is why a call was placed to the police in the first place. What we have here is the pretty ubiquitous okey-doke of observing (A), and presuming conclusion (G), with no substantive examination of the (B), (C), (D), (E), (F) elements inbetween.

  91. Hey Rogue,

    You were looking for examples of negative reactions to Obama’s election from ’08. There are a bunch of burning effigies. Here are some:

    What an accepting pun!

    Anti-Trump protests gotta end, right?

  92. Mark, there has been a vocal contingent of, especially press, saying, “I liked it ok but it’s got flaws and you’re overlooking those flaws and one day you’ll realize it’s not as great as you’re saying now.”

    As if you can’t still love something despite a few shortcomings, or that what it gets right is way more important than its shortcomings, or that those “flaws” might just not be a big deal to other viewers.

    Basically, why the need to convince others to love something less? Just like it as much as you like it. If others don’t share those critiques, so what?

  93. No one’s saying there haven’t been anti republican protects. You asked where are the videos of racists protesting Obama.

  94. Actually Fred, I asked for proof of violent, window breaking, firestarting riots, perpetrated by masked right-wing thugs in Nov 08 or 2012, analogous to the leftist Antifa thuggery perpetrated in the wake of Trump’s election. Feel free to try again. I’ll wait.

    In any case, it seem that effigies, distasteful as they can be, were not a phenomenon unique to the Obama Presidency. Which kinda deflates any racism narrative.

    Yikes!

  95. Mr Rogue, if you stop your hammering on the keyboard for a second and listen, you will hear a ticking sound. That’s time moving forward.

  96. Grimgrinningchris

    June 11th, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I don’t know which is more infuriating. The obvious knuckleheads that clog up the Facebook feeds and Reddit threads and bumpers of the country with their poorly written slogans and memes and blatant ignorance. Those people are just morons. Assholes, to be sure. But morons.
    Or the seemingly intelligent, relatively well spoken (typed) types who are ultimately saying the same shit but still win willfully obtuse in the process, just using bigger words.
    These folks obviously have some education, have read a book or ten and STILL subscribe to these outrageous, nauseating tenets. Fuck.

    On the flip, Wonder Woman is a fantastic movie. Gal Gadot is a fountain of charisma. Pine does big movies, but should still be a bigger name. Robin Wright kicked my ass sideways (and several others in the process). Why did Thewlis have a prosthetic nose? The beach siege, No Mans Land and War Room…interruption(?) are all bonafide classic scenes straight up.

    I’ve seen some complain that Dr Poison wasn’t given enough to do. Huh? What more do you want from a secondary villain but to have a cool name (and yes, Dr Poison is TOTALLY a cool name), a striking look and do some despicable shit. She was even given two scenes that brought some depth and pathos to her evil.

    So to sum up. 1st paragraph and 3rd: I don’t get people. 2nd: I do get Wonder Woman.

    Just bummed she has to keep being in movies with those other assholes.

  97. Racism still exists in America. That’s all I got.

  98. Fred, yeah, I can see how that’s pretty annoying. It always bothers me when people attribute someone liking something to some perceived flaw in their personality or susceptibility to brainwashing. Like, just like what you like, and accept that others are probably doing the same.

  99. I feel like I’m walking across No Man’s Land in this thread, but I just had to say what a great film WONDER WOMAN is.

    Exciting, intelligent, unexpectedly moving, real heart, well done action and a great cast (I’m digging David Thewlis’s slow and steady transformation into Donald Sutherland).

    I even dug the CGI-heavy punch up at the end.

    Hopefully, this will the standard for the DCU films to come.

    “Be careful in the world of men, Diana, for they do not deserve you.” Damn straight.

  100. Mark, to get deeper into psychology, it seems like when certain people don’t share the same enthusiasm for the movie, they perceive it as a judgment on them, when it’s not. The human is a wacky creature that thrives on validation, so may try to convince himself (I’ll generalize, it’s been all dudes) that there can’t be a problem with his taste. It must be everyone else’s. All this over an issue that’s irrelevant. The movie exists. People can watch it or not.

    One would hope being on the unpopular end of this would give some film critics and buffs some compassion, like “ohhhhh, so that’s what it feels like to people who thought this movie I’ve been obsessed with was mediocre. Maybe I’ll be more inclusive in those scenarios.”

    I mean, I can’t count how many popular movies I don’t like but it doesn’t matter to me if other people do.

  101. Fred – “I mean, I can’t count how many popular movies I don’t like but it doesn’t matter to me if other people do.”

    Same here. Like I thought INCEPTION and THE AVENGERS were complete horse poop while everyone else on the net considered them great achievements. That’s cool. If you got something good out of them more power to you even if I didn’t. It’s just great to see movies connect with anybody whether I liked them or not. To me that’s a great thing in a very positive way. Hell I got a lot of great stuff out of KICKBOXER 3: THE ART OF WAR while most will probably never even watch it and that’s ok.

  102. Personally, I find it easier to entertain a minority opinion if said minority delivers that opinion with just the most basic level of respect for his listeners. Even if he’s off on his own microscopic viewpoint tangent, it’s at least worth listening to.

    But you guys are way too kind to this Rogue4 character. What is this Friendo and Main Man condescending bullshit? You sound like you have been “marinating” in your own high opinion of yourself for way too long, and every time you talk it’s like taking a bite out of a pickled fart. It stinks and its offensive.

    Ground level critical thinking begins with learning to communicate with *an agreed upon vocabulary*. Your vocabulary wouldn’t get you pissed on if you were on fire.

  103. I’m trying to understand Rogue (I know, I know, I watch a lot of bad movies most people don’t like and try to find something good there too) but…man, I’m having a hard time with one basic tenet of what you’re saying here.

    If I understand correctly, you’re pointing out that although we live in a patriarchy for most intents and purposes, that men make up the majority of people that the “system” lets down…?

    However, accepting that as truth, what exactly does that have to do with the other portions of society that men or the “patriarchy” puts down? They should not feel disenfranchised or pushed into a corner by a ruling class because, “ah, they treat everyone like shit”?

    That’s pretty reductive and seems to me to reflect a certain sentiment if you think some people don’t have a place to complain, regardless of how pervasive and targeted it is, because everyone fucks up or gets fucked sometimes? I mean, you’re clearly being willfully ignorant if you think that’s a fair idea. I mean, why get mad that your faulty electrical company installed a shitty plug that electrocuted your teenage son to death? People get electrocuted all the time, right? Why get upset that the city won’t put in a children at play sign in your neighborhood? I mean, it was an adult who got hit and killed last time, right?

    I’ll never understand how anyone can sum everything up as, “Don’t get mad at YOUR lot in life; EVERYONE’S sucks!”
    Good for you, that sounds like a fun way to be.

    Meanwhile, I can’t live the life of anyone else so all I can stick with are my personal experiences. At the same time, since I can’t live the life of anyone else, I can’t help but feel like I’m an extreme dick if I try to decide how upset someone else should be who’s life I’ve never had to live.

    I mean, isn’t that the problem anymore? People using their own “experiences” to try and tell other people with completely different experiences “ah, it’s not so bad”?

  104. *grammar and all that*

  105. Yeah, I don’t even know what to say to Rogue4, the guy is deluded.

  106. Thanks, Broddie. Of course I cut my teeth on Hudson Hawk, Last Action Hero, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Heart and Souls, Mr. Destiny, etc.

  107. Well work with me here, Master Troy. I don’t have the luxury of marinating in the secure company of like-minded individuals… and thereby being able to get away with sidestepping the intellectual heavy lifting of actual counter-argument, with the deflectionary *righteous indignation over “tone”* con. Tho I would certainly award you the Go Big or Go Home trophy, for the fabricated out of thin air pretense of terms as innocuous as “friendo” and “Main Man” being perjoratives.

    What I’m saying, Captain Aktion, is that the notion that there exists in contemporary American society a “Patriarchy”, a system that advantages/privileges men as a class at the expense of women as a class, CANNOT be reconciled with the observable level and scope of negatives affecting men in our society (majority of work deaths, homeless, incarcerated,etc.). Which is to say that “Patriarchy” is h0rse $#!t. That’s what I’m saying. The rest of your virtue signaling, unearned moral superiority monologue doesn’t have anything to do with antyhing I’ve written.

  108. I’m probably off base pal but isn’t the fact the high percentage of work deaths etc effect men signal that there is a patriarcle society? If women were in equal ground the rate would be about even.

    Fred, I have avoided Memoirs of the Invisible Man as the only Carpenter theatrical film I have never seen. Are you saying I won’t regret watching it?

  109. It does SEEM like there are more racist shitheads and misogynists out there, but in reality the white racists and women haters have just decided to stand up and be counted along with the black/brown/yellow racists and misandrists. For some reason non-white racists are acceptable and man-hating women are ok. Which is bullshit, IMO. ALL racism should be shouted down whether it’s a white dude dropping N-bombs or a black dude spouting off ‘cracka’ at white people. Likewise with the sexist bullshit.

  110. Sternshein, as a Carpenter movie you might regret it as he sort of disowns it due to studio interference. As a ’90s special effects adventure with CGI that still holds up and a leading man turn from Chevy, it’s great!

  111. “If women were in equal ground…”, occupationally, the percentage of workplace maladies would even out. Stern, this demonstrates the level of circular reasoning that must necessarily be engaged in to hold up the mythical “Patriarchy” concept. You mean equal ground in not so glamorous, risky professions like coal mining, commercial fishing, power line maintenance/repair, construction, nuke plant work? Women aren’t lining up and tripping over themselves to take roles in those occupations because… men are mean, and wont let them? Which results in the injury/death of more men… in a “Patriarchy” that’s supposed to advantage/privilege… men???

  112. I hate to tell anyone what to do, but if I could make a request to everyone here: please stop engaging with Rogue4. He’s this site’s resident right-wing MRA redpill troll, and by feeding him you are giving him exactly what he wants. His replies are constructed to condescend to and provoke you. When you call him out on it, and he then pretends he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s just trying to provoke you some more. His whole purpose is to rile you up.

    One day, hopefully, he will pull an Amazing Larry and say something hateful enough that Vern will ban him. More likely, he will stick around indefinitely, looking for any opening possible to advertise his toxic views, and then be as obnoxious as possible to anyone who disagrees. Then the comment section under the review becomes a comment section like this one, and he wins and everyone else loses. We can prevent that by simply ignoring him.

    Vern, I hate to tell you what to do most of all, but I would suggest you do the same. You reply to him in the comments as much as you reply to anyone, and it only encourages him. Did his contrarian-for-the-sake-of-it point about how the two Charlie’s Angels movies mean a female-led superhero movie is basically the standard now, so what’s the big deal – did that really deserve a response? I know this is antithetical to your inclusive philosophy and counter to the trope we all love where the hero turns an enemy into a friend by giving him time and acceptance, but surely you’ve seen the pattern play out enough times now. There are multiple posts in this comment section about all the fighting, including one by you, when it’s really just one successful troll being good at what he does. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again, and it always demeans everyone involved.

    With that on the record, I will proceed to follow my own advice from now on. I am sorry to have not followed it long enough to post this.

  113. Not gonna get involved in any of this political shit. Back to Wonder Woman. I really dug it. Vern, you hit the nail on the head when you said it/she lacks the cynicism of Batman or Superman, and it’s really refreshing. Sadly, there was no moment where she turns to the camera and says “I’m wonder wonder”, so it can’t get top marks from me.

  114. Listen up kiddies! Daddy JTS is gonna learn ya how to deal with that mean ol diverging commenter. Condescending indeed.

  115. Listen up kiddies! Daddy JTS is gonna learn ya how to deal with that mean ol diverging commenter. Condescending indeed.

  116. No Rogue, he’s right. We all should know better by now. It’s always gonna be All About You.

  117. Always had a soft spot for Memoirs of an Invisible Man. The effects still look great!

  118. I deal have spent time with Joe Walsh and lots of other Republicans and condescending is just the way they do things. It’s nothing to get upset about because it’s all a show.

  119. All these years and I still get more affirmations that Fred and I have twin souls. I have always spoken about my love for LAH on here but HUDSON HAWK deserves all the love in the world. I can’t think of another movie where Bruce was clearly having a ball on set and it completely showed on screen. Not even our beloved DIE HARD.

    I never knew HEART & SOULS and MR. DESTINY were ever frowned upon. IMO both are some of RDJ and Other Belushi’s greatest stuff. MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN I never saw all the way though. Just bits and pieces. It had an awesome trailer, I love THE INVISIBLE MAN (both the book and the Universal Monster movie) and it’s Carpenter so I don’t know why I never finally sat down with it after all these years. I mean I’ve even seen HOLLOW MAN but the one with Chase I’ve just seen bits and pieces so I will have to look into that one.

  120. I thought I was the only one that loves Hudson Hawk. In another universe it’s an oft quoted movie.

  121. Broddie, Heart and Souls made very little money for an FX heavy film and I think Mr. destiny just wasn’t widely seen enough for most people to have an opinion on it.

  122. I want to second the recommendation for HEART & SOULS, a silly movie anchored by a great RDJ performance. I remember not digging MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN and Carpenter disowning it kept me from re-watching but maybe a rewatch is in order. I guess I’ll also throw my hat into the ring for HUDSON HAWK, I think it’s an enjoyable oddity but the older I get the more I learn I really dig self-absorbed vanity projects even if they are never good.

    Obligatory: Of course in a WONDER WOMAN thread we have to make the conversation about men because we can’t stand an entire thread where we talk about a strong woman!

  123. Damn, Geoffrey, you’re right.

    Ella Enchanted was another movie I thought was brilliant, like a live action Shrek, but the world didn’t agree and preferred Anne Hathaway’s more conventional princess movies.

    Alien Resurrection is about women and female robots. I love the shit out of that against all the haters.

    Oh and I’ve been championing the Brit Marling indies since Sundance, but she probably doesn’t need my help. She’s an indie darling.

    I loved Ice Princess too, tho to Geoffrey’s point I haven’t exactly championed it like I do Hudson Hawk.

    I guess we all have work to do. What does it take to change the essence of a man? Wonder Woman inspired me.

  124. Nobody has any reason to feel disenfranchised because patriarchy is a myth? Got it.

    Now, answer me this: How do I join you in Narnia?

  125. Take it for what it’s worth but I know four people who have seen Wonder Women. One black male, two gay males and one straight women. All four have hated Wonder Woman. Interesting.

  126. Interesting. This is literally the first time I’ve heard of anyone not liking it. Pretty much everyone I know has gone out to see it and (other than everyone agreeing that the finale is the weakest part) loved it. In my bubble it is universally loved.

  127. outside of Gadot and Pine’s fantastic performances and chemistry (Gal Gadot is absolutely fucking fantastic as Wonder Woman) and the sincerity of its central message (which i think by now everyone pretty much agrees is completely fumbled and obfuscated in the final stretch) i didn’t really care too much for this one either. the opening stuff on Themyscira felt so clunky and awkward and uncertain to me that, for the first half hour at least, i was deeply worried that the whole thing was going to be a total train wreck. then Pine showed up and he and Gadot brought the film to life for 45 minutes or so and then it all went downhill again.

    saw it with two friends (both female) and they had even less time for it than i did. quite a few other friends, and friends of friends, have seen it too and they weren’t really able to vibe with the movie either.

    nothing of insight to add really, just thought i’d mention that it isn’t a film that has really seemed to connect with the majority of the people that i know who have checked it out, and these are all folks who judge a movie on its own merits and terms and don’t let, or do their best not to let, any of the bullshit surrounding a movie’s release influence their overall enjoyment of the film itself.

  128. The word I keep hearing when it’s brought up among people I know, male or female, is “solid”, or some variation of it. I personally haven’t talked to anyone who was really moved by it like I’ve read about people being, but haven’t talked to anyone who outright didn’t like it.

    I liked the Themyscira parts awkward, didn’t find them awkward at all, but would agree with Mixalot that the best part was the middle, with Diana and Trevor on their road trip. The showdown with the villain was kind of generic, and also a little confusing (was Ares’ influencing the Germans a little bit after all, is that why the fighting at the airfield stopped when he was defeated?).

  129. I have have a lot of liberal feminist friends who like movies and superheros who all talked of crying during the movie.

  130. Didn’t you just say you only knew four people who saw it and they all hated it?

  131. Yes I didn’t say only know four just that four saw it.
    I see the confusion. I was more saying that I found it interesting that four non white males saw it and hated it.

  132. I liked this a lot, much more than I thought I would. Gal is just so perfect for this part I found myself smiling almost every time she changed outfits.
    But this is yet another superhero movie that suffer some from the two big problems: 1) big bad invincible heroes and villains who can pound on each other and do no damage and 2) a really lame big bad guy. In fact so lame that the bad guy we thought was the bad guy isn’t really the bad guy it’s the good guy who turns out to be the bad guy we thought was out there all along.
    This is why it is so hard to make a good Thor, Hulk, Superman movie. They are virtually indestructible.

  133. Add my in laws as two more people who hated Wonder Woman.

  134. Since the discussion has gotten kind of political, what do you guys think of the leftist critique of the movie at

    Dirtbag Movie Reviews: Wonder Woman • r/ChapoTrapHouse

    So, when I first saw that the new Wonder Woman movie would heavily feature the First World War, I assumed that it would continue to be the same...

    ? Not having seen it yet (kind of bored of all superhero movies, but I’ll rent it when it comes out on blu ray), would you disagree that under the surface anti-war theme is a fairly pro-war subtext, that it portrays the Germans as clearly far more like faceless bad guys while the Allies are basically good guys, and that in the scene where the Brits are trying to negotiate an armistice the movie “makes the point that any characters who want peace for Europe are actually naive morons, and the only way to bring peace is to eradicate the German army”?

  135. It’s true that the movie isn’t that anti-war, but I think it gets away with it because we sort of believe Miss Wonder when she claims that there’s a more sinister, and supernatural, force driving the German forces. Clearing them in the process.

  136. I don’t know if that’s a “leftist critique”, so much as the themes of a movie getting muddled by the realities of blockbuster superhero filmmaking. I mean, Wonder Woman’s gotta beat up somebody. I think it’s a stretch to say that the film is against the people trying to negotiate an armistice, but I do think the film could done a better job tying the impending loss of life to the masculine posturing of the top brass, like both sides of the conflict explicitly refusing to evacuate the danger zone because it would weaken their bargaining position, or whatever. I think setting the film during WWI was a brilliant idea, and I wonder how much of the failure to fully capitalize on it comes from Americans not seeing WWI in the same way as Europeans?

    I also have to admit that I was one of the Gal Ga-doubters. Barely noticed her in the F&F movies and thought she was a non-entity in BvS. Happy to say I was wrong, because she was fantastic. She’s asked to do a lot in this movie, being in turns vulnerable and heroic, naïve and self-assured, despairing and optimistic, both feminine and a fierce warrior. She pulls it all off really well. In that scene where she’s smiling and shaking hands with the villagers she just radiates off the screen.

  137. We saw it with my wife yesterday, and we both agreed that it was pretty mediocre. The action is ok at best, the backstory is absurd (will Hollywood writers one day consider the possibility that Greek mythology is not necessarily “the Bible, but the characters have different names”?), the plot can only be defended with a “not supposed to be Shakespeare” argument, and knowing about Gadot’s political views makes it hard to enjoy her performance as the champion of peace and love. That being said, yes, the “fuck you guys, you don’t get to tell me what to do and you don’t get to treat me as a precious doll who should let men do the job” moments ARE satisfying, but that’s really about it.

  138. What about Gal Gadot ‘s views?

  139. She voiced her support for an Israeli assault on Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians, saying it was Hamas’ fault in the first place. Not very Wonder Woman-like if you ask me.

  140. She’s a zionist who has written insensitive stuff on the net about Palestine in the past. It is what it is, after all she is former IDF. Wonder Woman herself would be all about uniting Palestenians and Israelites through peace. So it can turn some people off. I can look past people’s personal views when it comes to acting. Look at Mad Mel. Ironically I can’t when it comes to music though since that’s more of a personal endeavor artistically. You’re not just really playing a character. Well it can be argued that nowadays that is not the case but nevertheless.

  141. I had heard that Gadot had expressed some shitty views, but I am not bothered by actors having shitty views, for the most part. When a director’s toxic worldview enters their films, then that bothers me. But even then, I can mostly separate the artist from the art.

    Toxic, sorry that you didn’t like Wonder Woman. It does bother me some when comic books take non-Biblical mythology and then try to cram it into a Christian worldview. This didn’t really bother me much in Wonder Woman, since comic books have been doing that for a long time, and at this point it’s just par for the course.

  142. Usually I don’t mind, and when Gadot plays a former Mossad agent like in the F&F pictures I don’t mind her, it’s just that in this particular case there’s a blatant contradiction between the character and the person behind the character. I don’t see that contradiction with Mel Gibson’s characters or Clint Eastwood’s characters.

    To be fair I think I’m simply not really enjoying superhero movies all that much anymore. Recently I liked Guardians 2 and I somewhat liked Dr Strange but that’s it, and Wonder Woman wasn’t any worse or dumber than Batman vs Superman or Suicide Squad or Civil War or Ant-Man.

  143. It’s also easier to ignore a an artist’s indiscretions when you enjoy his or her work than when you dislike it.

  144. I mean she is a Jew from Isreal so her views are probably not controversial to a lot of people.

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