Showing posts with label gal gadot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gal gadot. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Wonder Woman shines in 1984

It's the festive lull between Christmas and New Year's Day filled with cold cuts and winter walks. In an especially turbulent year, comic book fans (myself included) are looking for an uplifting, nostalgic tale of hope in the 'new normal'.

Is Wonder Woman 1984, currently in selected theatres and on HBO Max at no additional cost, the superhero movie we're looking for?

From the comfort and safety of home, Nick Smith, our US-based stellar scribe, took time out of his hectic holiday schedule to see if Wonder Woman 1984 is a worthy successor to Superman II.

Guest post by Nick Smith

In 1984, my sister Becky was 9 years old and a perfect age to feel empowered by the TV version of Wonder Woman. Even though the show had long ceased production, Lynda Carter’s portrayal would stick in the public psyche for a long time to come [Lynda Carter was a childhood crush alongside Carrie Fisher - Ed]. Becky was enamoured with the heroine’s strength, confidence and above all, her ability to make boys tell the truth.

9-year-old Becky would have approved of the thrilling opening sequence of DC Comics’ WW84 movie, in which a young Diana (played by 13-year-old Lilly Aspell) participates in an Amazonian Iron Woman race, establishing the movie’s moral theme and offering the grand backdrop of Themyscira a la Thor’s Asgard or Black Panther’s Wakanda. The sequence is only marred by some unconvincing CGI, surprising after the excellent underwater shots in Aquaman.

Like the teen athlete Diana, this sequel’s creators must be feeling the pressure. With a dearth of superhero epics this year, DC’s WW84 movie has been highly-anticipated. Not only does it promise the celluloid extravaganza that hundreds of millions of production dollars can buy but it also reunites director Patty Jenkins with statuesque star Gal Gadot, reprising her role as the adult Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman.

Although it contained many elements that appealed to me, including a fascinating World War I setting and charismatic stars, I found the first Wonder Woman film a convoluted slog and I had to watch it over a 3-day period. Jenkins has stated that Warner Bros. insisted on inflating the ending, which she wanted to close on a more intimate note. The sequel is more enjoyable but still too long.

Taking its cue from the first couple of Superman and Spider-Man movies, WW84 opens its main narrative by showing its heroine using her powers to help everyday people, eliciting that innocent sense of awe that all good comic book characters should. An initial crime starts a chain reaction that leads to all kinds of destructive shenanigans. Wonder Woman has to make a painful personal choice to help restore the balance.

For at least the first half-hour, there are no good male characters except a starving homeless guy and a small child. Most of the adult males we meet are ignorant, selfish or rotten. Luckily Wonder Woman isn’t the only character around to put wrong-doers in their place. Kristen Wiig flips her trademark awkward comedy persona, as her character Barbara Minerva wishes for self-improvement and gains it… at a price. As she and sympathetic antagonist Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) find out, one should always be careful what one wishes for [This is the way. You saw what I did there, right? - Ed].

There are fanciful elements at play here but if we can believe in a magic lasso, why not believe in an ancient stone that can grant wishes? Wonder Woman doesn’t have to figure out the stone’s power – it’s literally spelt out for her in Latin – while other things are not spelt out enough for the audience. The bad guy’s abilities aren’t explained properly until later in the movie. There’s chaos in the streets of Washington DC but we’re not shown why in great enough detail, at first. In the third act, the stakes are raised and there is plenty of reason for panic in the streets but the build-up comes too soon. In Superman II (an obvious template for this sequel) the chaos is intrinsically caused by Zod’s Kryptonian criminals. In WW84, it seems to be caused by a traffic jam and some loose cows.

One of the movie’s best elements, aside from Pascal’s increasingly manic character, is the romantic subplot. Wonder Woman’s love for Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) remains unbound, even more than six decades after his death. Now that’s love. Sadly the relationship drama takes a back seat to the rock-‘em-sock-‘em scenes that weigh down all modern DC movies, including Shazam!

Despite more dodgy CGI in a climactic fight scene, and a mid-end credits cameo that received mixed reactions from my friends – everything from corny to respectful, WW84 satisfies, has a few chuckles at the expense of 1980s fashion and art, and manages to make some important comments about the greed and excess of that era. Wrongs are righted and Wonder Woman is represented with respect. Plus, she gets to wear cool golden armour! 9-year-old Becky would be inspired and delighted.

WW84 is a breath of fun fresh air just when we need it and I applaud HBO Max for streaming it and giving Christmas a good old-fashioned blockbuster, even for those who have to isolate their wonder to the comfort of their homes – just like we watched the classic show, back in the day.

Have you seen Wonder Woman 1984 in a theatre or on HBO Max and what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Watch the opening scene from Wonder Woman 1984

The opening scene from director Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984 was released during the return of DC FanDome on Tuesday. Gal Gadot reprises the role of everyone's favourite Amazonian princess.

The sequel to Wonder Woman is coming to theatres and HBO Max at no extra cost to subscribers on Christmas Day. The official HBO Max app is now available for PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Roku devices in readiness.

Wonder Woman 1984 is currently on limited release, due to the pandemic, in the UK. Reviews suggest it's the equal of the beloved original and let's hope fans (myself included) won't have to wait too long for a home release on Sky Cinema.

Jenkins' next film foray is Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Monday, 14 December 2020

DC FanDome returns for Wonder Woman 1984

DC FanDome returns this Tuesday for the online world premiere of Wonder Woman 1984.

Hosted by Tiffany Smith, the virtual event will include exclusive interviews from the film's director, Patty Jenkins, and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal.

"We have the best fans in the world and that’s why we’re so excited to celebrate the launch of Wonder Woman 1984 in such a big way," Jenkins and Gadot said in a statement. "Having it be a virtual event allows us to share the moment with Wonder Woman superfans everywhere who might not otherwise have the chance to experience a movie premiere."

Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in selected theatres and on HBO Max this holiday season with Sky rumoured to be in talks, too. The sequel has a secret post-credit scene. So, stick around till the end. Look out for Nick Smith's review coming soon.

Friday, 4 December 2020

Warner Bros. to release movies in 2021 on HBO Max

Is this the end of mainstream cinema as we know it in the wake of a global pandemic?

Warner Bros. will release all-new movies simultaneously in selected theatres and on HBO Max in 2021 in a paradigm-shifting move that will have repercussions for the way Hollywood movies are distributed day-one.

The announcement was made by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group (of which Warner Bros. is part) and Jason Kilar, CEO, WarnerMedia.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Sarnoff. “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”

“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Kilar. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We have a fantastic, wide-ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able to get these movies in front of audiences around the world. And, as always, we’ll support all of our releases with innovative and robust marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically via HBO Max as well.”

The Walt Disney Company trialled the release of its live-action Mulan, at a premium price, on Disney+ last September and Pixar's critically-acclaimed Soul will be available to stream on Christmas Day.

HBO Max will be rolled out to international markets from next year with Sky in the UK purportedly showing Wonder Woman 1984 only a few weeks after it's in selected cinemas this Christmas.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 this Christmas on HBO Max

Here's some good news for fellow DC Comics fans. Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, is coming to selected cinemas and exclusively on HBO Max this holiday season.

“At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) wrote on Twitter to coincide with the release of the official main trailer. “We love our movie as we love our fans, so we truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season.”

“As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans,” said Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, which includes Warner Bros. Pictures. “This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see WONDER WOMAN 1984 via our HBO Max platform.”

“We appreciate how patient audiences have been and given the great anticipation around WONDER WOMAN 1984 we are grateful to be able to make this terrifically entertaining movie widely available in these challenging times,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Wall Street mused on the hybrid release strategy. "This is an unprecedented move for a major Hollywood media company, especially for a $200 million film, and a grand experiment that could have long-lasting implications if successful," Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson wrote in a report. "Up to now, speculation had been that Wonder Woman 1984 would either be delayed or be released in theaters and then shift over to HBO Max after a short exclusivity period."

There's no news whether Warner Bros. will follow suit outside the US. However, it's very possible the first sequel to Wonder Woman will be available on direct-to-consumer streaming platforms as most cinemas remain closed, around the globe, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Personally, I'd be delighted to unwrap Wonder Woman 1984 so to speak, safely in the comfort of my own home, on Christmas Day. Would you? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 15 June 2018

First look at Wonder Woman 1984

Hollywood's love affair with eighties nostalgia shows no signs of stopping. As someone who grew up during the decade of Transformers and Michael Jackson's moonwalk, I'm not going to complain.

This week, DC Universe (DCU) fans (myself included) got their first glimpse of Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984, which sees the actor reunited with Chris Pine (Star Trek) and director Patty Jenkins.

Jenkins' Wonder Woman was a breath of fresh air amidst the murky and, frankly, dull DCU cinematic adventures in the wake of Chris Nolan's excellent Dark Knight Trilogy. So, whilst the director has evidently drawn inspiration from seminal eighties graphic novel Watchmen, I hope Jenkins doesn't forget a sense of fun, too.

Wonder Woman 1984 is in cinemas November 2019.

Looking forward to new adventures with everyone's favourite Amazonian Princess? Let me know in the comments below.