Wonder Woman / Wonder Woman 1984 (Patty Jenkins, 2017/19)

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
Message
Author
User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#51 Post by tenia » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:34 am

hearthesilence wrote:I'm starting to see quite a few critics (Nick Pinkerton for one) calling this film out for being garbage. Not for any political or social reason, just for remaining another crappy blockbuster movie.
Again, it's quite funny to perceive the difference from another country : in France, most of the reviews I read aren't very positive. They either found the movie quite mediocre, or even quite bad. I don't think I read reviews that really bashed the movie, though, but all in all, it's really not welcomed as a positive surprise at all.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#52 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:45 am

One of the dumbest things you may notice about American film criticism regarding this film is the way it's being held up as some landmark in women's filmmaking. Just look through IndieWire or any mainstream publication's coverage (particularly sites that are blatantly geared towards a younger audience) - they seem oblivious to what have been many great films made by great female filmmakers in the past decade (possibly because so many of them aren't American), and they perpetually hold up some shitty franchise movie as the most worthy endeavor of any female filmmaker.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#53 Post by knives » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:53 am

Maybe that's how they are simplifying it, but as a general symbol giving a female filmmaker plus 100 mil to make a movie is significant. Is Deep Impact the highest budget a woman has been given before this? In a world where regularly (including to Jenkins herself) despite extreme success women can't get a followup in mainstream cinema something like this does have significance.

Salamanca
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#54 Post by Salamanca » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:18 pm

Doesn't anyone here hang around Letterboxd? I feel like the best reviews for this film (or any film) can be found there among certain select users.

Nick Pinkerton isn't that great a critic.

nitin
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#55 Post by nitin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:13 am

I found this to be utter dreck on almost every level. The script was horrible and the action scenes were also derivative and unexciting.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#56 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:47 pm

Finally saw this -- found it entertaining enough (most of the time) -- if not especially "artful". Won't be making my (never likely to be created) bests list...

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#57 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:30 am


User avatar
Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#58 Post by Luke M » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:11 pm

I’ve read a lot of angry comments disagreeing with Cameron. But I mostly agree with him. I liked Wonder Woman a lot but I thought her character was more akin to something like Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider than Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Conner or Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. Which is to say no one was trying to sleep with Conner or Ripley or Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.

If we get a bunch of films about beautiful women kicking ass while being ogled at; at what point does it become exploitative?

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#59 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:24 pm

I do think Jenkins has a point that female leads don't have to be damaged to be complex or valid or enjoyable. But it is amusing to see the director of Monster doing her level best to defend cheerful pretty female leads after all these years

User avatar
starmanof51
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:28 am
Location: Seattleish
Contact:

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#60 Post by starmanof51 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:27 pm

Luke M wrote:I’ve read a lot of angry comments disagreeing with Cameron. But I mostly agree with him. I liked Wonder Woman a lot but I thought her character was more akin to something like Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider than Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Conner or Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. Which is to say no one was trying to sleep with Conner or Ripley or Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.

If we get a bunch of films about beautiful women kicking ass while being ogled at; at what point does it become exploitative?
So the male version of this would be Bond movies?

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#61 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:22 pm

Cameron is entitled to give his opinion, but it seems like a flat-out hypocritical one, considering that he's admitted in interviews that the female Na'vi were intentionally designed to be ogled in a way that was essentially as close to porn as is possible with PG-13, but that didn't stop him from patting himself on the back for delivering such an important message with the film.
Luke M wrote:If we get a bunch of films about beautiful women kicking ass while being ogled at; at what point does it become exploitative?
Seems like they'd have to be considered case by case on the merits of the film as a whole and examples of things that seemed gratuitous. I'm not going to see Wonder Woman so can't say if there are any such examples in this film. And if it's just about some of the costumes, then one would have to have to consider what the costume designer was trying to do with them and what she had to work with: an "Amazon" type character from 1940s low culture, wearing basically a strapless bathing suit and high-heeled boots.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#62 Post by knives » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:24 pm

Low culture?

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#63 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:53 pm

Definitely. For one thing, comic books had an extremely low standing in the culture from the "Golden Age" till the birth of the "graphic novel," and were widely considered absolute trash, only fit for halfwits and children, and at times not even deemed suitable for the latter.

And I think it's worth noting how Superman and other superheroes came from an amalgam of other things from "low culture" forms that predated comic books such as pulp magazines: Tarzan, Doc Savage, the Shadow and other characters with secret identities. In fact the main forerunner to DC, National Allied, was started by former pulp writers.
OK, this post is so geeky it's making me a little ill.

User avatar
Shrew
The Untamed One
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:22 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#64 Post by Shrew » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Yeah, I don't think what Cameron is saying is offensive, but it doesn't pan out. Easily the best thing about Wonder Woman, cited in just about every review--even the mixed ones, is that the camera never ogles Gadot in the way that the Marvel films treat Johansson. This is not to say that there aren't other more interesting things going on with that character and Johansson's performance, just that the camera occasionally sexualizes Black Widow in a way it does not do with Gadot. I'd put Lara Croft in the Marvel category.

Yes, Gadot is pretty, and the make-up/costuming/frame/lighting definitely highlights that rather than try to cover it up or ugly it down, but it looks more like a make-up ad than a pin-up. In other words, the audience is clearly women rather than men. This is still objectification and there issues you could raise with that, but it's not "male hollywood doing the same thing." Honestly, the shots of Linda Hamilton in prison in T2 feel more male gazey to me than anything in Wonder Woman. The character isn't glamorized, but there's still a sense of a male gaze taking in her body. It's just a body type that bucks typical conventions of beauty (but has since actually become more popular, and I get the sense Cameron was always into it).

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#65 Post by knives » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:00 pm

Gregory wrote:Definitely. For one thing, comic books had an extremely low standing in the culture from the "Golden Age" till the birth of the "graphic novel," and were widely considered absolute trash, only fit for halfwits and children, and at times not even deemed suitable for the latter.

And I think it's worth noting how Superman and other superheroes came from an amalgam of other things from "low culture" forms that predated comic books such as pulp magazines: Tarzan, Doc Savage, the Shadow and other characters with secret identities. In fact the main forerunner to DC, National Allied, was started by former pulp writers.
OK, this post is so geeky it's making me a little ill.
I meant what it means. It sounds unnecessarily derogatory, but from this post it seems like you just mean stuff that wasn't treated seriously at the time regardless of what the makers themselves were thinking. Is that right?

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#66 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:29 pm

I was using the term to describe what the medium was according to prevailing attitudes, and how the era and other pulpy influences shaped (and how!) Wonder Woman's whole look and concept as a powerful female hero but one who wears things that aren't exactly practical for fighting crime but are "fantasy" elements, such as the high-heeled boots. Comic books were "low culture" because of the position they were assigned in a culture generally much more elitist about such things, as we've now seen not only comics cross over into mainstream acceptance and serious respect and study but also things like the fiction of the paperback book of the 1950s and early 60s, rock 'n' roll, jazz, and other popular music, and many other examples of things once written off as lowbrow, suspect, trashy, embarrassing, "cheap," and so on.

Zot!
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#67 Post by Zot! » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Say what you will, Cameron has been pushing the empowered woman hero thing for far longer than it has been popular. I believe he's quite genuine in that regard.

I think his Avatar quote was more talking about trying to make a CGI "thing" sexy, which is pretty weird. The guy was a truck driver after all, cut him some slack.

User avatar
Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#68 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:22 pm

Well, if Wonder Woman is considered part of the "empowered woman hero thing," then it was popular enough when Cameron was still driving trucks for WW to be a pretty famous comic book and a TV series (albeit one cancelled after three seasons due to less-than-stellar ratings) and for Pam Grier films to make a huge cultural impact, among other examples. I haven't seen Aliens in far too long to discuss it, and most of his other films are either utter dreck or just not for me. And I think Ridley Scott gets the credit for giving us Ellen Ripley, a great female protagonist in a role that was going to be just a standard male action hero. But I was really discussing the James Cameron of today, based on his own statements, and I think I've pretty much said my piece about him.

User avatar
Never Cursed
Such is life on board the Redoutable
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:22 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#69 Post by Never Cursed » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:55 pm

What I think of the movie and its portrayal of Wonder Woman aside, I must say that it's pretty shallow of Jenkins to claim that the only reason Cameron levied criticism against the movie is because he's a man. That's a pretty shallow and sweeping reduction of a legitimate criticism.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#70 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:59 pm

I broadly agree with Jenkins, but I think she's being a little coy in her response. This is a film successfully marketed on the back of empowering women, but just because a studio successfully convinced an audience that may not normally turn out for superhero films to fill seats doesn't mean they actually delivered what they promised (and I say this with the caveat that I have not seen the film)

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#71 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:03 pm

Shrew wrote:Honestly, the shots of Linda Hamilton in prison in T2 feel more male gazey to me than anything in Wonder Woman. The character isn't glamorized, but there's still a sense of a male gaze taking in her body. It's just a body type that bucks typical conventions of beauty (but has since actually become more popular, and I get the sense Cameron was always into it).
Good to point out at this point that it wasn't long after the production of that Cameron and Hamilton actually married, so there was probably more to it than that as well. Maybe.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#72 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:34 pm

I'm trying to think of any sexualized 'male gaze' shots in the asylum section of T2, and the only thing I can think of that comes close is Hamilton's introduction, where she's introduced with a big closeup of her biceps as she does pull-ups, ie. something you'd more expect for Schwarzenegger. It feels more like a knowing subversion of an action movie convention (substituting a woman in a moment reserved for males) than what I understand to be male gaze.

Regarding Ripley: Weaver deserves the credit for her performance, but not for how the camera photographs her. Ridley Scott sexualized her considerably in the finale of his film, where she runs about in her underwear, in a way Cameron's film never does. Indeed, Cameron's film gives her gender neutral clothing and hair and, in general, refuses to make a sexual object or even subject of her.

The Abyss avoids the male gaze so steadily that even its heroine's topless scene is not sexualized.

It's not til True Lies that Cameron gives in to unfortunate gender nonsense, and his films since are a bit spottier in that regard. Before that, tho', he was very good at avoiding making his female characters empty sex objects, either via screenplay or camera.

User avatar
Satori
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#73 Post by Satori » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:44 pm

I think there are certainly some valid critiques to be made of Wonder Woman's feminist credentials (For example, Jack Halberstam has a good takedown of the film on his blog which also compares it unfavorably to Monster). However, I think that Patty Jenkins makes a really good point when arguing for a female superhero who doesn't need to be burdened with truckloads of baggage. I'm pretty much over the "hard, tough, and troubled" female superhero like Jessica Jones or even Black Widow in Avengers 2. There is a great interrogation of this tendency in the scene in Clouds of Sils Maria in which Binoche and KStew go see and argue about a hilariously overwrought melodramatic superhero film.

I think Wonder Woman works because it is a joyous celebration of uncomplicated ass kicking that women need after the last election. I think a return to an uncomplicated 90s-style "girl power" has its place in contemporary culture, especially in a big budget popcorn movie.

User avatar
R0lf
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#74 Post by R0lf » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:20 pm

I read Cameron's statements as an extension of his previous comments about not liking comic book movies. For a woman to succeed and be included in the most generic lowest common denominator of movies isn't progress and it doesn't elevate women. We need to make better movies.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#75 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 pm

He needs to make better movies.

Post Reply