#WW84, #PromisingYoungWoman, and more – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

Wonder Woman 1984 – Review

Wonder Woman 1984 – Budget of $200 million – 2 hours and 31 minutes

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Diana works at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as a senior anthropologist. She sees a woman picking up papers scattered all over the floor and bends down to help her.  The woman introduces herself as Barbara Minerva, a geologist and gemologist that likes cryptography. Barbara tries to make plans for lunch with Diana, but Diana politely says no.  As Diana walks away, Carol walks in looking for Barbara.  While investigating a jewelry store robbery, police uncovered the store was a front for selling black market antiquities.  The FBI will bring the items to the museum for Barbara to analyze.  As Barbara looks over the items, Diana comes to check things out.  They notice a unique looking stone, but it has a marking Barbara can’t understand.  Diana recognizes the language and tells Barbara it says hold it and make a wish.  Diana holds it and makes a wish, and then she invites Barbara to an early dinner.   Over the years, Barbara admits to feeling overlooked, unappreciated, and boring.  Barbara believes that if she looked like Diana, her life would be less complicated.  Diana tells Barbara her life hasn’t been easy.  She lost the only man she loved, and he was a pilot.  The women leave with a newfound respect for each other, but a man accosts Barbara on her way home.  As he grabs her, Diana comes out of nowhere and stops the attack.  Barbara thanks Diana and heads back to work.  She holds the stone on her desk and wishes to be more like Diana.  The next day, Carol brings their latest platinum donor, Max Lord, on a private tour.  He notices the stone in Barbara’s office and wants to know more about it, but Barbara stops him.  He invites Barbara and Diana to a party in his honor for his donation.  Barbara says yes, but Diana says no.  Later, Diana walks into the gemology area and can’t find the stone, but she discovers Max’s business card in the stone’s container.  Diana goes to the party looking for Max.  Max finds Barbara and goes to her office to make out.  In the middle of the session, he asks to borrow the stone for a few days, and she says yes.  As Diane searches for Max, a man calls out to her and says, ‘I wish we had more time.’  She turns in blistering anger and tells him not to say that.  It slowly sinks in that her wish came true, and Steve’s ghost is in another man’s body.  She forgets about Max and focuses on Steve.  This focus is a mistake.  Max runs Black Gold Corporation and advertises it on TV, and while it may look successful, it’s a ponzi scheme.  Now, his biggest investor is on to his con and wants his investment back, or he will go to the FTC.  His luck will change with the stone.  But he doesn’t wish for his company to succeed, but he makes a wish to become the stone.  After Barbara does research, she reports to Diana about the stones past.  Diana goes to Max’s office and finds dust.  She sees a metal ring that once held the stone and sees an engraving on the inside.  The stone came from the God of Lies.  The stone will grant wishes, but it will take something you love in return.  And now that power is within Max.  He is granting wishes for his gain.  Diana must find and destroy him before Max destroys the world.  

Sequel to Wonder Woman, this movie has all the hair, shoulder pads, and greed of the 1980s (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Before you read this review, it won’t be comparing this movie with Marvel movies because it isn’t one.  Only judge this movie in the DC universe.  Many who have seen this movie complain it doesn’t have a villain.  But they fail to realize, in the 1980s, greed was at an all-time high.  A generation raised off of ‘greed is good’ or ‘life is great, but it can be better’ was the ultimate villain in this movie.  Max Lord’s success comes from everyone wanting more and making a wish.  And as the world falls apart around them, humans still make selfish wishes.   In the first movie, Diana learned humans control their fate.  In this movie, Diana sees we are doing better, but humans have a ways to go.   Diana’s encounter with Max allows her to remember a lesson her Aunt Antiope taught her: shortcuts are cheating.  Some may not take the time to unwrap the message behind this movie, but the action holds.  They fight all around the world, and even in the White House.  The fight scenes are well choreographed and framed perfectly for each shot.  And let’s mentions Steve’s visit to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.  The look on his face is priceless.  It introduces new characters while allowing us to revisit old ones.  It does help to see the first movie to catch the little tidbits from the first.  With all the strong points, the film runs too long.  The romance between Steve and Diana takes up too much time.  Steve’s presence is there to teach Diana to sacrifice and to fly a plane for her.  Otherwise, he has no purpose.   Some of the CGI turns the movie into a cartoon and takes away from the viewing experience.  This movie is watchable for those willing to enjoy a DC movie, not a DC movie compared to Marvel.  And stay after the first end-credits for a blast-from-the-past cameo.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Greatness is not what you think, Diana – Antiope

I think the technical term for this is lame – Barbara

I am not a con man.  I am a television personality and a businessman with a great plan – Max Lord

I’m gonna stick to the one I don’t have.  Thank you – Diana

I can save today, but you can save the world – Steve

It’s from my culture – Asteria

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Promising Young Woman – Review

Promising Young Woman – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 53 minutes

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One night a week, Cassie goes to a club and pretends to be falling-down drunk.  She waits for a guy to pick her up, take her home, and try to rape her.  Before the assault, Cassie tells the guys, ‘I’m sober, and I could hurt you.’  While she is not crazy, plenty of women who do this are.  Cassie works as a barista, and her boss and friend, Gayle, wants her to do more with her life.  Cassie’s parents agree, and that’s why they gave her luggage as a 30th birthday gift.  At work, a man recognizes her from college.  His name is Ryan, and he’s a pediatric surgeon.  They were both pre-med at Forrester University until Cassie dropped out.  Ryan wants to know why, but Cassie won’t divulge.  As they talk, he mentions he still talks to their old classmates, including Al Monroe.  That name makes Cassie extremely curious and angry because she thought Al was in London.  Ryan explains Al is back in town to get married, and he became an anesthesiologist after college.  She goes home and looks up Al and several other people, and then creates a Kill Bill worthy revenge list (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  And she does it all for Nina. 

It doesn’t take much to figure out who Nina is and what happened to her.  So, the plot doesn’t take the time to explain that.  It follows Cassie’s path of rage as she plays pied piper to so-called nice guys.  But her point isn’t to murder, but to teach and warn them.  She wants to teach them that they aren’t the men they think they are and to make them do better.  As she opens her notepad, you see a long list of guys.  But she never has a real plan until she hears Al’s name.  She goes from devious to cunning.  She doesn’t only go after the man who attacked Nina, but Cassie goes after the ones who let him get away with it.  And once she gets to Al, she has so much more planned for him, and you will love it. 

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I guess it feels different when it’s someone you love – Cassie

I will stop asking when he stops killing children – Gayle

One coffee, hold the spit – Ryan

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News of the World – Review

News of the World – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 58 minutes

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Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd reads the news for 10 cents a person in 1870 Wichita Falls, Nebraska.  As he travels to the next town, Kidd sees a man hanging in the woods with a sign nailed to his body that reads ‘Whites Only in Texas.’  Behind the body, Kidd sees someone run from an overturned buggy.  He chases after the runner and sees it’s a little girl.  Inside the carriage, he discovers paperwork for her.  In the paperwork, it states the girl’s name is Johanna.  And her family was killed by the Kiowa tribe, and they took her as a baby.  However, the southern soldiers killed the Kiowa people and captured her.  He was journeying to return her to her aunt and uncle 400 miles away before someone lynched him.  And then, soldiers appear and start to question Kidd.  He explains what he found, and they tell him to send the girl to the next town over.  They have an abandoned minor’s office, and they will return her.  After some coaxing, Kidd gets Johanna into his buggy and rides into the next town.  A soldier tells Kidd that the person in charge of returning minors won’t be back for three months.  Kidd can leave her there or take her with him.  Kidd knows a local teacher in the area and asks him and his wife to take the little girl until the soldier returns.  They agree to help, but in the middle of a storm, Johanna runs away.  They run out to look for her, and Kidd finds her at the top of a hill.  She sees other Native Americans across the way and calls out for them to get her.  Johanna breaks down when they don’t hear her pleas.  Kidd knows she has been through too much to be left alone.  He decides to take Johanna to her aunt and uncle.  This ride will show Kidd a side of America he never read in the papers.

Based on News of the World by Paulette Jiles, this modern-day newscaster relays messages about the government, sadness, and heroism (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  While he delivers the news, he doesn’t sugar-coat it.  For instance, he informs poor southerners about the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.  He knows the crowd will be upset, but they must know how the world is changing, and they need to hear it.  On their travels, they run into a dictator, child predators, and understanding.  In the storyline, you will get a sense that Kidd is running from something.  But you won’t know what it is until the last 30 minutes.  And while he is running from pain, the healing is next to him.  It’s the journey that will help him uncover everything.  In their historical context, hard-hitting topics don’t feel forced or inserted to make a point.  It flows naturally.  This movie is for the big screen but not one you will want to own.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

What the hell do I do with this child – Captain Kidd

Don’t leave me.  Come back – Johanna

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Pinocchio – Review

Pinocchio – Budget of $13.2 million – 2 hours and 5 minutes

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Geppetto, a poor woodcarver, states undamaged items need to be repair for money everyday.  One day, he sees a crier announcing a puppet show is coming to town.  Geppetto asks the crier what he made the puppets out of, and the crier answers wood.  Geppetto takes a peek inside and sees how beautiful they all look.  He hopes he can create one and become famous and wealthy.  He runs to a carver and asks him for a piece of wood for free.  The carver points at a woodblock, but Geppetto believes it is too expensive.  So, he asks for something cheaper.  The carver insists that Geppetto take it.  Geppetto doesn’t know that the wood started moving by itself before he got there.  The carver is happy to get rid of it.  Geppetto goes home and begins carving the wood.  He asked the wood to call him Babbo.  It speaks, leaving Geppetto awestruck.  He declares it as his son and creates an outfit out of his bedsheet.  He names it Pinocchio.  After he finishes his perfect creation, Geppetto shows Pinocchio how to walk.  Instead of walking, Pinocchio jumps off the table and runs for the fields.  Geppetto looks for Pinocchio all day without knowing Pinocchio was back home.  A talking cricket tells Pinocchio he must follow the rules and go to school or his life will be difficult.  Pinocchio throws a rock at the cricket and puts his feet near the fire.  When Geppetto comes to the house, he sees Pinocchio inside, but the front door is locked.  Pinocchio tries to let Geppetto in, but the fire burned off half of his legs.  Pinocchio promises not to run again if Geppetto makes him new legs.  After completing his legs, Geppetto tells Pinocchio he has to go to school like all the other children.  Geppetto sells his best coat to buy a spelling book for Pinocchio.  However, Pinocchio sees the puppet show on the walk to school.  After Geppetto leaves, Pinocchio ditches his classes, sells his spelling book, and buys a puppet show ticket.  The puppet master sees that Pinocchio does not have strings and decides to take the puppet.  Pinocchio wants to get back to his dad, and he will go through a ring of fire, water, and school to do it.  

Based on The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, this is not the Disney version of the story (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It stays true to the plot without watering it down for children.  Be aware the movie is dubbed in English.  This dubbing caused their lips to move when they were saying nothing.  Not relying on CGI was a winning aspect of this movie.  With perfectly-crafted make-up and prosthetics, their talent shines through without the cartoonish nature of CGI masking their abilities.  This second live-action version of Pinocchio is a visual masterpiece, but the story is very long-winded.  Several times you will look at your watch and wonder how much time is left.  It could have the same effect as a shorter plot.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Now, I am really fed up with you – Pinocchio

I can’t swim – Geppetto

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