This week was filled with a trio of very different films.
Wonder Woman – 4*
Wonder Woman is a film that came to theaters with so much pressure on it, I honestly went in thinking the worst, that this was going to be a mediocre super hero movie that was marginally better than Batman vs. Superman and because of that was receiving a ton of praise. I’m so happy to say that I was so, so wrong. Wonder Woman is a very good super hero movie. It bucks the trends that its brethren in the DCEU have been focusing on, dark & gritty, but it also bucks the formulaic trends of the MCU, with a genuine sense of humor not rooted in snark.
Look, I like dark & gritty and flashy snark but Wonder Woman brings a sense of innocence not really in today’s comic book movies. It is an uplifting, hopeful film that had me thrilled to be a comic book film fan. But even better was seeing how my wife and daughters reacted to seeing it. I’m glad the film didn’t let them down and I hope that it become a beacon of inspiration for them going forward, like so many super hero films have been for me.
That isn’t to say that I thought the film was without flaws. I personally feel it peaked a bit to early, with its stellar second act climax. And the villains weren’t super strong, specifically the main one. But still, even with its slight flaws, it’s a great viewing experience.
The Island of Dr. Moreau – 2*
There are a few adaptations of H.G. Wells classic science fiction story, which I finished reading earlier this week. The 1996 version staring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer though is a special, special train wreck that I felt I needed to see. As an adaptation, it sticks pretty close to the source material, updating it a bit for a modern experience. But Brando and Kilmer are obviously in the midst of a breakdown here as both seem certifiably insane with their performances. Brando plays the lord of the island as Dr. Moreau and he plays that role as a religious figure that dresses like a cross between The Pope, Powder, and Flava Flav. Kilmer on the other hand seems to just wander around the set delivering his lines like he just doesn’t care. I hear there is a documentary that was made about this debacle and I think I need to catch that as well because this is an amazingly bad piece of cinema.
Raw – 3*
French horror has been killing it over the last decade and some of my favorite modern horror films have come from there. Raw is another entry out of France and it is a film, I am still trying to wrap my head around. I think I like it but I’m not sure.
The film chronicles a young woman as she enters vet school. She is a lifelong vegetarian but is forced through a hazing ritual to taste meat for the first time. The taste of meat is intoxicating to her and she craves it in every fashion, eating it raw directly out of the refrigerator. Through a freak accident, she moves from animal meat to human meat and it drives her further down a dark hole of discovery. This cannibalistic awakening parallels her sexual awakening as her body drives her to become a ravenous animal.
For a cannibal film, there is a surprisingly reserved amount of gore but because of this when horrific imagery is shown, it is grossly effective. Raw is an uncomfortable film to watch but one that has a strong enough central premise and a couple interesting twists that I was captivated throughout. It won’t be for everyone though.
That is it for this week. Next week, I’ll possibly be catching The Mummy and It Comes at Night this weekend so look for thoughts on those next week. Let me know if you’d like me to watch something and more importantly what you thought about some of these if you’ve seen them.