MOVIES & BOOZE: Heading to the cinema this weekend?

Movie critic Sarina Bellissimo reviews Wonder Woman and Demon Hunter...

WONDER WOMAN - 12a

To paraphrase the words of the theme song, “Wonder Woman, all the world is waiting for you and the power you possess … fighting for your rights”. And Wonder Woman, what power you possess, thanks for coming back – it has been worth the wait!

In this film we see the evolution of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). She begins as Diana, a young Princess of the Amazons, who has no idea of her destiny until Pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes into her universe. When he tells her of the war in the outside world, Diana leaves with him and transforms into the warrior she needs to be to bring peace to the world.

Let me start by saying that Lynda Carter is my idol. I never thought anyone else could be Wonder Woman. All that has changed thanks to Gal Gadot. Gadot is outstanding, and deserves to share the title with Carter. She has captured the essence of who Wonder Woman is perfectly. She is strong, caring, sensitive and powerful.

“I am willing to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. I may never return but who will I be if I stay?” Wonder Woman is a great superhero  – she’s not just about taking out the bad guys, she’s about looking after the good ones!

While there is no invisible helicopter to be seen in this film (or maybe there is but we just can’t see it!), and the outfit has had some tweaks, Wonder Woman still has her lassoo of truth and manages to do our favourite Wonder Woman spin (go on admit, we’ve all tried it at least once).

As well as this being a great Superhero film, Wonder Woman having her own film is more powerful than we think. I couldn’t believe the pride, respect and empowerment I felt watching a female do what we all know females can do. Women don’t have to be side characters or be protected. Women are strong and can be centre stage and kick butt! And kick butt Wonder Woman does in this film.

The action scenes are spectacular. I was in awe watching Gadot do her thing. As I was watching Robin Wright. Wright isn’t in the film a great deal but when she is, you are captivated by her strength and fierceness.

Pine’s Steve Trevor is the perfect ally for Wonder Woman. They are on the same page, “If you see something wrong happening in the world, you can either choose to do something or nothing, and I’ve tried nothing, so time to do something.” The something they do together is wonderful to watch, as is the fact that Pine knows this is Wonder Woman’s film, not his. Pine doesn’t try to be the standout, rather he is charming and supportive.

Even though Wonder Woman is my favourite superhero, this does not mean that I can not see some of the film’s flaws. Tonally it can be all over the place, with the fish out of water parts not always working; and it is at least 20 minutes too long!

All that aside, to once again, paraphrase the Wonder Woman theme song, “Wonder Woman, now the world is ready for you and the wonders you can do, stop a war with love

make a liar tell the truth … get us out from under, all our hopes are pinned upon you

and the magic that you do, stop a bullet cold, make the axis fold, change their minds and change the world”. I know that is all a bit dramatic, but this film is a game changer in cinema and long may the game continue to change. This is the superhero film we have all be craving and waiting for. Wonder Woman, thanks for not only saving the world but for making me believe that a superhero film can be a great experience.

 

Demon Hunter - 15a

Demon Hunter tells the tale of Tarryn (Niamh Hogan), a girl who has been tormented by the abduction and consequent death of her younger sister, Annabelle, at the hands of a demon. Since then, Tarryn has made it her mission to kill demons. Understandably, this gets her on the wrong side of the law. However, when a Detective’s daughter goes missing, could Tarryn’s demon hunting be the key to getting her back alive?

You could be excused for thinking that this sounds like an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. While both Buffy and Taryn hunt ‘evil forces’ the similarities end there.

“Buffy” probably had a bigger budget per episode than this had for an entire film (*not entirely true but I’d say not far from it). And for that, this film has to be applauded. Director Zoe Kavanagh has been able to make a film for less than €250,000, that can hold its own on the world stage. Recently, it cleaned up at the Fright Night Film Festival in Kentucky. The film took home 9 awards including, Best Director for Kavanagh, Best Foreign Feature, Best Actress for Aisli Moran, and Best Actor for Michael Parle.

That said, I for one was not a big fan of this film. I have to put my hand up though, and admit that I am a woos so these types of films aren’t for me. When I see demons and demonic rituals, I freak out. However, with this film I didn’t. I found myself laughing but I don’t think that was the film’s intention.

While the film looked good and had a great soundtrack, which was used perfectly to build tension and an emery atmosphere, the script wasn’t great. Some lines were so bad and cringey that even the actors looked like they were having a hard time delivering them.

Speaking of the actors, the leads did a good job but the supporting cast let them down. Some overacted to the point of making me feel uneasy. Add to that the poor script, and sometimes it feels like you’re watching a B grade movie.

That said, if you are a fan of this genre, ignore everything I have said and check this out. You might in fact enjoy it.

DEMON HUNTER trailer 2017 from Left on Vimeo.

 

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