Saturday, June 17, 2017

WONDER WOMAN (2017) - Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen,

Director:     Patty Jenkins
Writers:      Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder
Actors:       Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen

What magnificent Amazons the women are in this film.  Robin Wright, in the role of Antiope, the military leader of the Amazons, is absolutely wonderful as she twists and turns in the air to send a fury of arrows at the German soldiers attacking their invisible island.  Connie Nielsen, as Queen Hippolyta, is majestic and vulnerable as she tries to control and guide the young princess Diana towards her destiny as Wonder woman.   

Even Chris Pine, who portrays pilot Steve Trevor, is made more humane and manly in the presence of such awesome women.  I totally loved the choreography of the island battle.  Even as they battle, we watch the warrior women perform incredible feats, but never once do we even consider that it’s about prowess or superior skills or just plain winning.  Director Patty Jenkins made choices which encourage us to see instead the generous spirit of these women who only want to honor life and save the world.  The CGI effects are excellent.

Once Wonder Woman leaves the island behind and enters the WW II scenario, she still embodies that sense of spiritual and moral strength which define her Amazonian heritage.  Gal Gadot is beautiful and strong and steadfast as Diana Prince, Wonder Woman.  There is no arrogance in her possession of enhanced fighting skills.

The best thing about this movie, though, is the human focus on the big picture.  Patty Jenkins understands the true female spirit:  that when it comes to protecting and defending those we love, women are fearless and fierce.    

GEN: 9  JUST: 9  HUVA:  9

TAGS:  Wonder Woman, Amazons, Diana Prince, Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Patty Jenkins, Connie Nielsen, Chris Pine, Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder

Saturday, June 10, 2017

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (2017) - Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana

DIRECTOR:  Guy Ritchie
WRITERS:    Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
ACTORS:      Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana

I really liked this version of “King Arthur.”  It was more about the evolution of King Arthur from child-to-man-to-king, and the spiritual significance of why only Arthur can pull the legendary sword.    

Charlie Hunnam is wonderful in the TV series “Sons of Anarchy,” but, for me, he wasn’t the right choice to portray Arthur the king.  Of all our recent hunk-heroes, I think Channing Tatum could have given Arthur the soul and the heart which made him such a beloved legend.  Charlie has the looks, the physique and determination to portray Arthur, but I didn’t see the beleaguered heart of a great king who knows intuitively that whatever decisions he reaches as leader of his people, some of those people will die and/or be hurt by the choices he makes.

In “The Vow,” I saw Channing Tatum portray that heart and spirit in his love for Rachel McAdams’ character.  He drew me in emotionally. 

In this version, Arthur’s journey becomes more about his confronting his personal fears rather than the monster within himself he must battle.  King Arthur of legend is a king of magnanimous heart and spirit., one willing to sacrifice himself for his people.  Eric Bana as Arthur’s father depicted more of that in his scenes than did Arthur the man.

That said, CGI effects and cinematography are excellent.   Guy Ritchie has a strong vision of magnificence on the screen.  I did miss Merlin’s character.  I’m not sure being raised in a brothel creates “king” character better than being raised by a magician who understands politics, leadership and miracles.  Still, I did enjoy this movie.

GEN: 7  JUST: 8  HUVA:  5

TAGS:  King Arthur, Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana, legend, Guy Ritchie