Justice League

The Movie Snob checks in.

Justice League  (C).  Yep, even the presence of the beauteous Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) couldn’t save this piece of cinematic bombast from dull mediocrity.  As we recall from the last movie, Superman is dead.  This makes everybody sad, which somehow summons up yet another cosmic CGI super-villain bent on global domination.  Although said villain has the unlikely name of Steppenwolf, this movie is neither Born to be Wild nor a Magic Carpet Ride.  Instead it’s mostly about Batman (Ben Affleck, Gone Girl) looking for new super-recruits like Aquaman (Jason Momoa, TV’s Baywatch) and The Flash (Ezra Miller, City Island) to help him and Wonder Woman beat the bad guy.  Lois Lane (Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane, Six Pack) drop in for a few seconds.  And the gorgeous ex-Mrs. Johnny Depp, Amber Heard (3 Days to Kill), has maybe a minute of screen time, as some relative of Aquaman I think.  Ultimately, of course, there’s a humongous battle that’s about as exciting as watching your little brother play a video game for forty-five minutes.  This is a yawner.

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Wonder Woman

The Movie Snob gets to the party late.

Wonder Woman  (B).  This movie has been riding high at the box office, so everyone who’s going to see it has probably already done so.  Anyhoo, I finally got around to seeing it, and I liked it just fine.  The plot struck me as kind of wacky–the Greek god of war Ares is supposedly a real being (god?) and he is out there on the loose stoking mankind’s warlike passions.  The Amazons are hiding out on some paradisiacal Mediterranean island, but when American WWI pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, Into the Woods) crash lands just off shore and brings tidings of the carnage of total warfare, beautiful Amazon princess Diana (Gal Gadot, Batman v. Superman) decides she must leave the island with him so she can track down and kill Ares.  There is some amusing fish-out-of-water stuff as Diana makes her way through old-fashioned WWI-era London.  Then there are some mean Germans that Steve and Diana have to confront (at the front) in the final reel.  All in all, this is a perfectly competent and enjoyable superhero movie, and it didn’t even feel long at 2 hours and 21 minutes.  And I must say that Gal Gadot is, like, supernaturally beautiful in the role of Wonder Woman.  I certainly noticed her in her small role in Batman v. Superman, but here she just owns the screen.  If I were caught up in her magic lasso, I might even have to say she’s more beautiful than Nicole Kidman.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

The Movie Snob takes on Batman and Superman.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice  (C).  I liked Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel quite a bit, so I had high hopes for this one.  Sadly, it was a bit of a letdown.  The performances were okay; I didn’t even mind Ben Affleck (Gone Girl) as Batman.  But the movie is kind of a long, joyless slog.  Snyder filmed it in Gloom-O-Vision—everything is brown and grey, and it’s always overcast or raining or nighttime.  As the title indicates (and comic book fans probably all know), the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill, I Capture the Castle) are at odds in this movie, for reasons that didn’t really seem all that compelling to me.  It’s no secret that Wonder Woman is also slinking around in the background, in the form of gorgeous Israeli model Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious), but she’s not a huge part of the movie.  Amy Adams (her) reprises her role as Lois Lane, but it’s hard to stand out when you’re the only normal person in a team of superheroes.  Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) makes a pretty unhinged Lex Luthor.  I hear Wonder Woman is getting her own movie in 2017.  Here’s hoping it’s better than this!