How Wondrous Was Wonder Woman?

It used to be a recurring joke that any comic book character would get a movie before Wonder Woman. At a 2013 NYCC afterparty hosted by The Mary Sue, one of the cocktail specials was called Wonder Woman Movie so guests could demand “Give me a Wonder Woman Movie!” This would’ve been effective more promptly if the bartenders were WB executives. (I slightly preferred the Strong Female Protagonist cocktail because it was green like She-Hulk.) A Wonder Woman movie has even been a recurring part of her comics mythos since the 1940’s, so it’s about time Hollywood caught up. Now it’s finally her turn!  I was concerned by all the positive press the movie was receiving because I feared I’d be the lone weirdo that didn’t love it. Fortunately it lived up to the hype, even incorporating some of my ranty demands!  That’ll teach Marvel Studios to cheap out on bribing me! I’m collaboreviewing Wonder Woman with The Wages of Cinema! (They’ve just done a podcast where they responded to my comments!) It’s a wonderful film!

Although she was still as wooden as the surrounding film, Gal Gadot was the best part of Batman v. Superman: Yawn Dawn of Justice because she was a cedar in a forest of larches. Here Ms. Gadot shows she can actually act! Her expressive face conveys childlike wonder at the world outside of Themyscira. She’s a DC protagonist allowed to smile without being a baddie! She’s violent without being dour! They convey her strength through compassion perfectly!

WW1

Americans offended by the lack of white stars on her skirt should take solace in WB nixing the red star on her tiara to alienate her Communist fans too.

Hereafter come the SPOILERS. If you’ve yet to purchase a ticket to see this film, please stop reading here & watch this Nerdist medley featuring Ciara “Hawkgirl” Renee!

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Guardians Of The Galaxy 2: Cosmic Boogaloo!

After my off-brand (?) foray into limited edition food, & Zack Snyder’s reclusive axes, I’m back with a much more mainstream collaboreview of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2! The Wages of Cinema had me back to remember names & tell me I’ve been pronouncing esoteric wrong my whole life!

The first Guardians of the Galaxy may be my favorite MCU movie. This may be because it felt like a Farscape relaunch, the clearest parallel being Star-Lord retooled to be more like John Crichton. (Ben Browder has a cameo in this one!) It’s one of the rare adaptations that change almost everything from the source material while managing to be wonderful. (Meanwhile the 2017 Free Comic Book Day issue of GOTG has Marvel rejigger the team to be even closer to the movie.) It even works as a stand alone space opera without needing to worry about the other Marvel movies. Fortunately this sequel maintains the magic of the first installment without falling into the trap of just rehashing it. Even the credits are fun! The trailers did a great job not spoiling the movie so I would have something to do here!

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Second Anniversary On Skull Island!

 Apparently Matt The Catania recently had another birthday. So I did what anybody who forgets an important milestone does & fled to Skull Island with The Wages of Cinema! Andrew was back this week so my presence was superfluous! Listen to us geek out over kaiju films after the halfway mark!

This is a movie that really surprised me. Since the dolorous adventure of King Kong has been told by Hollywood thrice (& once in a book illustrated by Anthony Browne), there’s no reason for another remake. Even if WB made this movie just to segue into King Kong v. Godzilla: Dawn of Destroy All Monsters, Kong doesn’t have that much context that he needs a whole introductory movie. Despite my initial thoughts, I left Kong: Skull Island hungry for more ape awesomeness! This should appease anyone upset by the budgetary restrictions of the CW’s jaunt to Gorilla City. I skipped their attempt at Gojira, but now sign me for the Legendary Monsterverse! I guess we should call it the Kaijuverse or MONARCHverse to distinguish this from the resurrection of the Universal Monsterverse.

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Logan Is No Country For Old X-Men

X-Men: Apocalypse gave Andrew Birchenough such extreme PTSD that Jack Gattanella was forced to install me as his Brand-X substitute for The Wages of Cinema’s Logan review! Is Logan the best there is at what he does, or is what Logan does not very nice? Going by Wolverine’s catchphrase, these options might not be mutually exclusive.

SPOILERS below, bub! SNIKT! SNIKT!

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The LEGO Batman Movie Is Bat-tastic!

If you think Batman is oversaturated, you’re never going to be proven otherwise at the rate DC milks this cash-cow. Out of the four 2016 movies featuring Batman, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was the best because it didn’t take itself so damn seriously. Thankfully his solo LEGO film follows in that vein. My favorite movie of last year, Deadpool, was released in February. Will history repeat itself with The LEGO Batman movie? Since I struggled to write a review that’s not just “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!,” I’d recommend betting on black.

Somewhat SPOILERY iterations of what I discussed with The Wages of Cinema to follow. (Do you prefer me speaking extemporaneously on movies or reading me take the extra time to make typos about movies?)

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Is A Star Wars Story Rogue One-derful?

As the prophecy foretold, this is a real Star Wars: Rogue One review, unlike “This Custom Is A Rogue One.” (The secret theme of that one was symbiotic relationships, by the way.) Everything I knew about this movie ahead of time I learned from Jenny Nicholson. As usual, she’s right on the money.

The Wages of Cinema invited me to collaboreview this movie with them. I jumped at the chance to finally critique something that’s not a comic book adaptation. They even upgraded me from guest star Matt to Death Star Matt!

From this point forward there will be SPOILERS. Or as many SPOILERS as you can have for a story whose culmination occurs in a separate forty-year-old movie.

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What’s The Diagnosis Of Doctor Strange?

As a doctor (of not medicine), I prescribe listening to my latest collaboreview of Doctor Strange with The Wages of Cinema! It’s as the prophecy foretold!

Benedict “malapropism generator” Cumberbatch may be slightly overexposed, but he’s actually a great Doctor Strange! I didn’t need him to affect a American accent, but I guess he wanted to show he’s not just coasting on his Sherlock reputation. Sadly he never utters “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” It’s a missed opportunity for Marvel to subvert the white savior trope by casting someone that’s not a WASP, yet Cumberbatch still knocks it out of the park. His Dr. Stephen Strange is Marvel’s cockiest protagonist since Iron Man Thor Star-Lord. Despite or because of his supreme arrogance, he’s always compelling if not necessarily likable. Cumberbatch definitely earns his starring role.

The special effects are superb. There’s plenty of Inception geography tessellation on steroids. Applying gravity to these shifts leads to some fun sight gag action. Other spells look generated from firecrackers & shards of molten glass. There’s a fight across the Astral Plane while both participant’s bodies are unconscious. The best scene is a psychedelic tour across dimensions. The plot may be cookie cutter, but the visuals are a feast for the eyes.

Now journey with me beyond the veil of the page break for movie spoilers, source material nitpicks, & social commentary!

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