Skip to main content

Thoughts on Wonder Woman 2017

With an opening in the very respectable range of $100 million in North America, the new Wonder Woman movie is certainly taking the world by storm (the overseas box office is in the $122 million range). Critics and audiences alike appear to love it And I? Well, what follows are my (spoiler-filled) thoughts on the film.

First, let's open by saying that I'd give the new Wonder Woman movie a 7 out of 10. If you want something even simpler than a numerical system, I give it a thumbs-up. Having said that, there are a lot of minor criticisms I have about the film, things that could have made it better.

Let's begin with how much of the first-third of the movie is kind of clunky in parts. The island of Themyscira, home to the all-female tribe of Amazonians, is beautiful and I wanted to learn more about it. Alas, the film doesn't spend enough time there. We see scantily-clad women tumbling and fighting Germans, we see a bit of their city and great tower, and Chris Pine's character takes a nude bath in one of their glowing wellsprings. And then Pine and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) leave.

The scenes on Themyscira range from the good (the combat and battle-training portions, along with the bath and overall breathtaking views from the cliffs), to the muddled (a German warship that simply disappears from the plot, some clunky exposition about the history of the Greek gods, the Amazonians and mankind, and a queen who changes her mind on a dime). I dunno... something just felt a little off.

Even though I am interested to know more about Themyscira, it has to be said that the film hits it stride in the portion from when it leaves the island until Wonder Woman kills General Ludendorff. Seeing the London of 1918 recreated, the ramifications of the horrors of war, spotting the British actors I've seen in countless British TV shows, the scenes of intrigue between Ludendorff and his chemical poisoner, Isabel Maru, the castle gala, the sequence across No Man's Land and liberation of a Belgian village, to the lovely rejoicing later in the evening, that span of the film was full of fun, action, danger and true adventure.

Alas, it was telegraphed throughout the movie that Ares, the Greek god of war, was behind the conflict of WWI, so of course I braced for his arrival, even though I didn't really want it. I grow weary of super heroes fighting super beings. How I wanted for Wonder Woman's final showdown to be with Maru, the Doctor of Poison. Female-to-female (which would have fit-in much better with the feminist motif of the picture). At any rate, the arrival of Ares was suitably dramatic and, as far as these types of villains go, he was pretty kick-ass.

The movie is book-ended with scenes of Diana Prince (Wonder Woman's alter-ego) in Paris. While they are tangentially related to the main plot, and we already knew that Diana was in present-day because we saw her in Batman v. Superman, the scenes still failed to really connect with the rest of the movie. I was left wanting to know what all had happened with her since 1918. What had she been up to? What was her life like? Did she go back to Themyscira? What happened to the Amazonians left behind there?

I could pick at other things about the film: The fact that we never get a truly clear idea of what, exactly, the poison gas that Maru has developed actually does (aside from kill); How it becomes very clear, at least in hindsight, that none of the human characters were really needed; That it wasn't obvious (at least not to me), that the the place Diana rides back to on horseback and she sees gassed is the Belgian village she'd just liberated; Or how socio-political issues are clunked into the dialogue (stuff about racism and women getting the right to vote).

It probably comes across as though I disliked the Wonder Woman movie. I didn't, honest. Despite all of my questions and misgivings, it manages to rise above the the sum of its parts and is a strong, feminist super hero film that I hope a lot of people see and enjoy. And the No Man's Land scene is worth the ticket price alone. I just wish the film had paid a better attention to detail at times.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…