Monthly Archives: June 2017

Movie Review – Wonder Woman Carries the Fate of DCEU


Wonder Woman has finally arrived and she makes sure that she won’t let DCEU’s fate stay in the dark, literally and figuratively.

Wonder-Woman-1-645x370

Director Patty Jenkins delivers a cinematic marvel (no puns intended), and finally gives us a DC movie that we all have been waiting for. Wonder Woman is the best of both the world. It follows Patty Jenkin’s style of character drama and human relationships while it also makes sure that Zack Snyder’s visual storytelling is not lost in the process.

Wonder Woman takes place way before the events of Batman vs Superman. The movie takes place in world plagued by the World War 1. The story follows her journey from Themyscira, being raised in women only society as a young Amazonian warrior to the man’s world griped in the fear of war and chaos.

wonder-woman-movie-1-2

The movie not only carries itself, but carries the entire DCEU on its shoulders. It is simply incredible how two women save a universe that has always believed that its primary characters Batman and Superman are the only ones to be focused upon.

Diana’s origin story is handled in the very traditional comic book manner. We see her first in Themyscira where Steve Trevor crash lands and is later invaded by the Germans. The first introduction to this feminist utopia is a visual treat. The imagery is nothing like the grim and gritty world in which DCEU has existed so far. The colours are bright, the landscapes are vivid. Overall Diana’s home is a cinematic beauty with an example of beautiful storytelling.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 9.19.50 AM

The supporting Amazonian characters include General Antiope played by Robin Wright and Queen Hippolyta played by Connie Nelson. They have their own persona and character development in the movie. Young Diana, played by Lily Aspell also delivers a strong performance as a warrior in training who knows that she is different but still don’t know her role and purpose in the world.

wonderwomantrailer3

Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor in the standard manner befitting of any “companion” to a superhero: he has his own character development and his story progresses with his own narrative. For Trevor, it is in a way that also embodies the message of the movie. At one point, Trevor sets up a strategic move to support Wonder Woman in action. That same maneuver is a direct reflection of something he had seen on Themyscira, showing his belief in Diana and her Amazons.

The movie has its own funny moments. This is probably the first movie that has a corny Marvel like humor. There are also plenty of fish-out-of-water moments with Trevor explaining the world and human nature to Diana. It’s the character building moments like these that give Wonder Woman take a stance in the war

Soon after the action starts and the action delivers, even if Wonder Woman’s high bound leaps suffer from a bit of CGI excess. But even the Overblown Climax — a staple of superhero extravaganzas, especially in the DC universe — works in a big way, and there are consequences felt and checks and balances for every blow thrown.

“Wonder Woman” has action, humor and heart. For a actor like Gal Gadot, who has always been an eye candy in Fast and Furious movies, this has been a big break and a chance to show her acting talent. This is a movie that delivers. Wonder Woman gives you a fresh perspective and is a must watch for every moviegoer.

Rating 4.5 out of 5

 

Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 takes you on a Roller Coaster Ride


guardians-review-thumb

If you’ve seen the first Guardians of the Galaxy, you’d know the kind of experience you will be getting. The old gang is back. They are more dysfunctional than ever and settling into their new titular positions. The film weaves a number of different subplots, with a number of familiar faces from the original film making a return – Yondu (Rooker), the scavenger who kidnapped and raised Peter; Nebula (Karen Gillian), Gamora’s sister, who is intent on continuing the violent sibling rivalry. But these subplots are skillfully weaved together, and never interfere in the main story.

There are a lot of obvious references for MCU’s future, from Gamora and Nebula’s conversations about Thanos to the closing text “The Guardians Will Return.” You know that there is a lot coming your way but GoTG vol 2 still stands as an independent film as much as it can. It builds its own universe without becoming another Iron Man 2. The producers must have had their chances to drop obvious clues but they didn’t and it proved to be a well thought decision.

guardians_of_the_galaxy_vol_two_ver4_xlg

Every character has an arc of self enlightenment.  From Rocket learning to not push people away, to Gamora and Nebula learning to love each other as sisters, Guardians plays on the trope that these characters are together because they share a very deep bond and their care for each other goes beyond that of a normal team.  All of these stories play out with fun filled action sequences that always leave you wanting more. Rounding out the cast is Mantis, a character who is used mostly for comedic effect but is so quirky and charming I couldn’t help but fall for her.  In her first appearance I worried that she was a bit too much of an Asian stereotype, but as the film progressed, she fell into her own and her relationship with Drax who tells her just how ugly she is, became one of my favorites in the film.

Mantis_Profile(1)

Chris Pratt once again proves that why is is one of the Hollywood’s best leading men working today. He takes the opportunity to bounce off of the legend that is Kurt Russell; the two charismatic actors share a memorable performance. From Peter’s daddy issues to Ego playing with his emotions, everything is written so carefully. You’ve also got the likes of Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista (with his dry sense of humor), Sean Gunn and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon who are all perfect in their individual roles.

One doesn’t need to talk about how Baby Groot takes away the spotlight. He is one of the most charming creations to have graced the cinema screens. This adorable little tree steals the show and your heart the moment he’s introduced. His big brown eyes and childlike qualities place him right at the top of the cuteness level. Audiences are going to love him, and he’s easily the most memorable thing about the whole film.

baby-groot-dance

The jukebox soundtrack is again a wonderful addition to the whole storyline. The movie is filled with an eclectic mix of hits, the vibrant visuals that pop off the screen, truly bringing the comic book art form to life in a way others have failed to do.  The story creates a real sense of consequence in the film’s final third act, taking viewers completely off guard. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is hilarious and has a surprising amount of heart at its core.

Being set in space, we, of course, the visual effects become an important addition of the movie. For the most part the VFX is amazing. Weta Digital and Animal Logic make the movie gorgeous to look at. Some of those wide shots of alien worlds are so stunning, the new space ships have interesting designs, the explosions have weight to them, and the effect even helps sell some of the more humorous scenes in the movie.

My one big issues with Vol. 2 is something that’s plagued Marvel since the beginning.  We get an underwhelming villain like the usual.  Although Kurt Russel plays his part in the a very effective way and his plan seems very convincing. But for a powerful player like Ego who is a celestial, his powers and ending doesn’t make sense.  I’m hopeful that Thanos in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War will live up to its billing.

Despite a few flaws, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 proves to be another great chapter in the saga of these outer space misfits.  I’m looking forward to revisiting these characters again in Vol. 3.  Although Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t quite come together in the way the original did, it nevertheless delivers humor, action, and familial themes in spades.

Final movie score – 4 out of 5