Movie Review: Wonder Woman

Details: Released in 2017. About two hours and twenty minutes long. Stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright.

I didn’t read any reviews before watching this movie in order to avoid spoilers. After seeing the movie, I went and scavenged over all the reviews on the internet to see what other people thought. Generally, people love this movie. I’ve even heard it called a perfect superhero movie. Personally, I enjoyed the movie, but I think it is far, far away from a masterpiece. I also think there are many existing comic book movies that are easily superior to this one. No spoilers except a brief summary of the premise.

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Movie Review: Hell or High Water

It took watching this movie to realize just what a lousy year for quality movies this was. There were the superhero movies which only exacerbated my superhero fatigue. Some good animated films and science fiction, but nothing original. They were all sequels like Finding Dory and Star Trek Beyond. Hell Or High Water stands apart in that it is an original film, arguably an indie film, and a contender for the best movie I’ve seen this year.

The premise is this: two brothers launch a daring series of bank robberies as an old Texas ranger tries to catch them. It’s a simple enough story, but executed wonderfully.

I love when movies incorporate their setting into a movie. It’s almost as if the state of Texas is a costar. Long shots that linger on beautiful Texan landscapes are plentiful and establish a quiet, yet brooding atmosphere in the film. I also enjoyed getting a glimpse of Texas that I am unlikely to see for myself.

This atmosphere pervades into the performances of the actors, who are all stellar. They help encourage this dreary atmosphere and set a calm, yet tense tone for the film. It reminded me a little of No Country For Old Men.

Score: 7.7/10 Great movie. I definitely recommend anyone who has the opportunity to see it to go see it. Unfortunately, I think it had a limited release so not everyone will get the opportunity.

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

Of the three Star Trek reboot movies (including Star Trek Beyond), I think the first one is easily the best. When going to see it, there was this anticipation of what J.J. Abrams was going to do with this franchise. What we got was a welcome, modernized re-imagining of Star Trek with a healthy dose of heart. Star Trek: Into Darkness stepped away from that to retread some old ground and retell an old, but fan favorite story. Star Trek Beyond steps even further away from the heart in the 2009 Star Trek film and delivers a films that feels like an episode of the TV series, except with a bigger budget.

The premise is this: the Enterprise crew answer a distress call in an uncharted nebula, then plot twists occur. It’s a basic story.

I feel like there were an inordinate amount of jokes in this movie. Which is fine as long as you throw in the requisite amount of drama to  buttress that. They did not. I walked away from this movie entertained, but ultimately feeling like this was a pointless movie. There was no real overall progression or meaningful character development with the crew.

Some additional notes:

Interesting that Sulu is now officially gay married and has a kid. I’m sure George Takei is happy about that.

Lot of dead red shirts in this movie. Kind of odd how little the primary cast feels so little for these dead extras. Also promotes that TV show feel rather than the feature film feel.

Villain had an interesting plot twist, but not enough to make him matter.

Inclusion of modern music and calling it classical was a nice attempt at a joke that fell flat with my audience.

Special effects were on point. Nice job.

Score: 5.8/10 Ultimately, this was an entertaining movie. In my opinion, there were no narrative reasons for this movie to be made. Clearly a film made just for the money, not because there was a story that needed be told.