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This was a brilliantly made movie.
Before I get ahead of myself and compliment the whole, entire female led movie for being so great, I would first like to mention that I think that the people behind Wonder Woman were borrowing a few ideas from the current Marvel movies.
We all know the formula for a Marvel movie, throw in some fun characters, have some good fight scenes, funny moments,  character development and BAM, you have a hit! I’m not saying this is a bad formula as it has been proven to work, but, if you thought this would be a heavy serious brooding movie, like a few of the other DC movies, you’d be wrong.
Now onto the praising.
This movie starts off with great main characters, Steve and Diane, played by Chris Pine and Gal Gadot, who respectively play off each other brilliantly. They look out for each other as they go and are a really good pair. Gal Godot plays Wonder Woman “Wonderfully” (Please forgive me for that)! She plays a shining light in an otherwise grey world, not to mention that she kicks some major …butt. I mean seriously, she is basically a one woman army. While talking about kicking butt, the fight scenes were extremely well done. It didn’t even seem far fetched when this beautiful woman would jump through a wall or defeat a room full of Germans without batting an eyelash.

My final point…

This is 2017, there is a beautiful woman acting in a movie in a skimpy outfit. Obviously you will think the movie is over sexualised to please a male audience. And you would be very wrong. While there is no doubt that Gal Gadot is extremely attractive, this movie does not play on that to keep you interested. You find yourself rooting for this amazing character not because of what she is wearing, but because she is just that, an amazing character.
Now, if you are “wondering” (I really need to stop doing that), why I only gave this great film a 4.5 after that shining review, its because almost nothing can be a 5/5. The movie was great and I’d watch it again, but it can still be improved in certain areas. Should you go see it? Defiantly!

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is the new film from half of the team who brought us WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, Taika Waititi. It stars Sam Neill of JURASSIC PARK fame, Rhys Darby (FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS), and relative newbie Julian Dennison as the film’s young, overweight star, Ricky Baker. Ricky is a troubled young man who is adopted by an older couple named Bella and Hec (Neill), who live on a farm outside of the beautiful New Zealand bush. Ricky has a difficult time acclimating himself to the country living of his new foster aunt and uncle, but quickly realizes that things aren’t all that bad. And even if he wanted to leave, there’s no way a chubby kid like him could survive in the surrounding forest. However, that’s exactly what he’s forced to do when depressing circumstances put him in danger of being brought back into the city as an orphan. He and Uncle Hec find themselves hiding out in the wilderness avoiding the police, hunters attempting to claim the bounty on their heads, and the dangers of the bush.

Unfortunately, I don’t think my synopsis of the film gave any credit to how hysterical it was. This was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year, though I have yet to see the new GHOSTBUSTERS movie – sarcasm. Ricky and Hec displayed amazing chemistry together that kept me rolling in laughter for the entire length of the film. Ricky is a gangster wannabe with a lot of attitude but an equal amount of heart and Hec is a grumpy old man filled with grief and regret, who also happens to be a great role model. Together, they make the perfect duo of recklessness and apathy. It’s funny when they don’t get along and it’s funny when they do. They’re simply great characters. In fact, all of the characters are well developed and funny in their own unique way. Each time a new character was introduced, I thought to myself “Oh, great. Here’s another character that I won’t be able to stand in 5 minutes.” And each time I was proven wrong. Even the villains are likable and completely sympathetic. I haven’t read the screenplay or the source material, but it is very apparent that all of the characters were written with a lot of love. No one was neglected and it shows. On top of that the situations were original, the dialogue was superb, and everything was made even funnier by their gorgeous New Zealand accents.

I had so much fun watching this movie. It was incredibly original from being separated by chapters, the way it used music and montage, and its overall structure. It keeps you on the edge of your seat by continually surprising you and making you smile. It may not be the movie you remember to include in your top 10 list at the end of the year, but it is certainly worth the price of admission this weekend. See it on the big screen with a couple of friends who like to laugh. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

3½ out of 5 stars

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (PG-13) – Dir. Taika Waititi

Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, and Rhys Darby

Runtime: 1h 41min

By now, I’m sure all of you have heard of or seen Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film, THE REVENANT. But if you haven’t, I’m here to tell you why you should.

First of all, Leo is winning all of the awards for this performance. He’s already snagged the Golden Globe for best actor in a leading role and more recently, the Screen Actors Guild award. Iñárritu also won the Golden Globe for best director. And let’s not forget that this is our golden boy’s year to win the coveted Oscar, a first for Leo. In fact, The Revenant has been nominated for 12 Oscars in total this year, including Best Picture. Now I know the Oscars and other award ceremonies aren’t the be-all and end-all of movie greatness, I’m just explaining that you’re the only person that hasn’t seen this amazing film (presumably).

Secondly, this is the most beautiful movie I’ve seen in several years. Every image is breathtaking, from the incredible Canadian and Argentinian landscapes to the way the camera glides through a scene as if operated by a ghost. Cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki rarely disappoints, and I believe this may be his best work yet. An amazing thing about this film is that it was shot almost entirely void of artificial light. Because of this limitation, they were only capable of shooting for a handful of hours every day, causing the schedule to inflate until they actually had the leave Canada because winter was on its way out the door. What they captured, however, is a film that allows you to immerse yourself in the experience and truly feel like you’re struggling with the characters through a wide-angle lens. I cannot stress this enough: see this movie in a theater. Now.

Thirdly, it’s a great story. The true tale of Hugh Glass is endlessly fascinating and inspiring, but the filmmakers here ramped it up with a handful of creative flourishes to make it truly great and unique. Tom Hardy plays the purely evil antagonist, John Fitzgerald, so well that you will hate him with every inch of your being by the end of the film. Hugh Glass’s struggles are so devastating and human that you want his success just as much as he does. All of the supporting characters are well developed and actually add something to the story. Other than that, it’s a simple story about survival, revenge, and the human spirit. It transcends what most of mainstream Hollywood movies stand for and envelopes the audience in something real, allowing them to make meaning for themselves.

If my three main points still aren’t convincing you, I’m not sure what will. It’s been such a long time since I’ve actually cared about the Oscars. I want the film, Iñárritu, and Leo to win, simply because they deserve it. The artistry in this film is unmatched. It’s a little long and slow at points, but I guarantee it will leave you exhausted and satisfied at the end. Other than that, I’m not sure I can think of any down sides. Perhaps the symbolism is a little ham-fisted here or there, but everything has meaning which is really nice to see in such a big movie. Oh! And it should be noted that this movie is violent. It’s almost difficult to take in, because everything feels so realistic. We’re not talking Quentin Tarantino violence; we’re talking real-life Cowboys and Indians violence. Also, there’s this gross scene with a dead horse… And a gross scene with a dead bison… It’s a really good movie, I promise!

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4 ½ out of 5 Stars

 

THE REVENANT – Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Run Time: 2 hours 36 minutes

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson, Will Poulter