Movie Reviews

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

wonder-woman-1984-poster-reviewDirector: Patty Jenkins

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 151 Minutes

Main Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Gabriella Wilde, Lilly Aspell, Kristoffer Polaha

Plot: It’s now 1984, Diana (Gal Gadot) is still mourning Steve (Chris Pine) and everything changes when she happens to befriend Barbara (Kristen Wiig), her clumsy work colleague tasked with identifying a mysterious artifact.

My Thoughts: As much as I want to gush about how much I loved this movie, I’m keeping my review SPOILER FREE. The UK somehow got it earlier than a lot of countries (which never happens), and there are so few cinemas actually open that I feel incredibly lucky to have watched it on release night so I’m not spoiling anything until my top 10 of the year list, which this will definitely be a part of. I enjoyed Wonder Woman (2017) just fine but the final act killed my buzz a little, but that wasn’t the case with this sequel. It’s a long movie but the time whizzes by and I really didn’t want it to end. It’s been wonderful to have the time to watch more indie movies this year but nothing beats walking into that cinema for the year’s biggest blockbuster.

Gal Gadot is quite simply breath taking in every sense of the word. We don’t get to see Wonder Woman in costume an awful lot but it makes those action moments stand out even further, and it’s clear the team behind Diana’s outfits were having a blast. Diana’s moments with Steve were adorable, and I’ve always been a fan of those ‘fish out of water’ scenes so watching Steve be fascinated by everything the 80’s has to offer was so funny. I thought Kristen Wiig was an odd casting choice when I saw the first trailer but she’s perfect in the role of Barbara and watching her character change from the ditzy, fun-loving work colleague to the cold, bitter villain she becomes was great. Pedro Pascal absolutely steals the show whenever he’s on screen, though. His character is up there with my favourite comic-villains of all time.

I’m not sure what more I can say without getting into spoiler-ish territory, so I’ll finish here by telling you that I enjoyed Wonder Woman 1984 much more than I thought I would. We get to see more of Diana’s will and daring from when she was a child, we get some thrilling action shots, a beautiful romance story and some laughs along the way. What more can you really ask for?

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Best Bit: Whenever Diana’s theme music kicked in my heart started racing. My favourite scene was the car chase in Egypt, there’s clips of it in the trailer of course but the actual full scene is stunning.

Worst Bit: I have a few problems related to the artifact that I can’t talk about yet and they’re probably me just nit-picking, but other than that the only thing I didn’t like was when Barbara turned full Cheetah. I’m not saying that the release of the movie Cats (2019) is what caused the world to fall apart but…they both happened at the same time and I’d like to not be reminded of that!

Fun Trivia: The role of Cheetah was first offered to Emma Stone but she declined. The role was then offered to Kristen Wiig, Patty Jenkins’s first choice.

My Rating: 4 and a half fanny packs (they’re called bum bags in the UK!) which not even Chris Pine can make look sexy.

wonder-woman-1984-usa-fanny-pack

Movie Reviews

Blind Spot Series: Gladiator (2000)

gladiator-2000-movie-review-blind-spot-seriesDirector: Ridley Scott

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Runtime: 155 Minutes

Main Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, David Schofield, John Shrapnel, Tomas Arana

Plot: Maximus was a strong and loved Roman general, so much so that the aging Emperor Marcus Aurelius chooses him to be his heir over his own son, Commodus. A power struggle breaks out and Maximus’ family are slaughtered, leaving Maximus himself captured and put into the Gladiator games. Now fuelled by vengeance, Maximus sets his sights on rising up the ranks and avenge his wife and son.

My Thoughts: My timing couldn’t be more perfect with my Blind Spot choices lately. I’d chosen The Matrix as my choice last month right when a Keanu Reeves obsession hit, and I was over the moon to realise my June pick was Gladiator when I’ve been spending as much time as possible playing Assassins Creed: Odyssey. One thing I hadn’t realised was how long the movie was, IMDB says it’s just over 2 and a half hours but I think I had some kind of special edition because my copy was just a few minutes shy of 3 hours! Why are all these famously amazing movies so darn long?!

Anyway, I’ll get straight to the point. I did enjoy Gladiator, in fact, I got really into it for the last hour or so, but it took me a long while to actually get invested. Call me uncultured (I wouldn’t argue with you) but Maximus’ story was just so similar to Spartacus’, and that’s a story I know in great detail thanks to the Starz! TV Show, which I know came later but cut me some slack.

Once I’d convinced myself to empty my thoughts and just enjoy the movie for what it was, I had a blast. I loved how Maximus managed to get the other gladiators to work together as one unit, and his rivalry with Commodus was intense. I also now know where the line “Are you not entertained?!”. I think where similar movies go all in for the action and choreographed fight scenes, Gladiator delivers some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in a movie. You can sense when someone’s about to dish out a killer speech, and those are the best moments.

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Best Bit: The scene where Commodus is praising this ‘Gladiator’ and asks him his name will be the moment that I always remember the movie for. “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Worst Bit: I get that the focus of the movie is the hatred between Maximus and Commodus, but with such a long runtime I would have liked some of the side characters to have got a little more limelight.

Fun Trivia: The wounds on Russell Crowe’s face after the opening battle scene are real, caused when his horse startled and backed him into tree branches. The stitches in his cheek are clearly visible when he is telling Commodus he intends to return home.

My Rating: In true gladiator games style, I give it 4 thumbs up!

gladiator-2000-russell-crowe-thumbs-up-live

blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.