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Wonder Woman

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****

Really, specs? Suddenly she’s not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen?

WWNiobe.jpg

For me the highlight (and lowlight) of this film came when Wonder Woman attacked the Germans within a town. During that scene I felt overjoyed with having a woman be the center of this, thinking, why not a woman? Finally, a comic book movie with a female lead. I had totally disregarded Catwoman and Elektra, because, why would I not? Even as a rare fan of Daredevil, and even of Jennifer Garner therein, I did not bother to watch Elektra. But it is 2017 and why the hell did it take this long to get here? In 1997 when Batman & Robin crapped its way into theaters, why did Hollywood declare comic book films dead? I point to Blade as evidence that comic book movies never went away—just DC Comics films—but even if you say that had been started before the Bat-Nipples flop, X-Men came out in 2000, so we had two years without comic books movie. Why did Hollywood not declare male superhero movies dead? Or white superhero movies dead?

Prejudices and stereotypes are why they did not. This film, directed by Patty Jenkins, and scripted by Allen Heinberg, plays with lots of stereotypes and expectations, stemming from perceptions of villainy, to politics, to fish out of water, and on. The best two surprises of the film were David Thewlis–Professor Lupin–as a very British bureaucrat and Robin Wright–Princess Buttercup–as Niobe, the greatest Amazonian warrior ever. This is a very good film.

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Killing Them Softly

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What’s he gonna do, fold under questioning? If he does, they’ll kill him. If he doesn’t, they’ll figure he’s lying like last time and they’ll kill him. Either way, Markie’s dead. So why put the poor bastard through a beating? It’s a waste of time – not to mention a really unpleasant experience for Markie. Just put him out of his misery, poor bastard.

Ten years ago this is the kind of movie I would have adored. It has a great look to it. The actors in it are fantastic and each play distinctive people from the underworld. The story shows a bleak outlook for those types and includes a super cool assassin. Make Wong Kar Wei the director and this is an easy ****.

So this has Richard Jenkins as a guest star. My family’s movie club just discussed his classic The Visitor. Other than him there is vulgar screw up assassin James Gandolfini who is hunting the two screw up leads, the amazing Ben Mendelsohn—Director Krennic, Rogue One—and Scoot McNairy—always delightfully pathetic in Best Picture winners like Argo and 12 Years a Slave.

But Brad Pitt gets first billing because of course he does. With Andrew Dominik as the writer/director he strove for the amazing lyricism of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He did not completely get it. Still, sometimes it is better to go for something different and not totally pull it off, than to make the same old crap. ****