Monday, August 21, 2017

Jesse Kelly is supposedly a professional writer

I still occasionally drop by The Resurgent, Erick Erikson's little virtue signaling website just to see what sort of stuff is being posted there.

A recent posting by the above mentioned Jesse Kelly, titled It's not me, it's you is what I imagine the writer thought was a fairly clever riff on the political turmoil in the country right now. Deciding the country is irredeemably fractured, it's therefore time to reconstitute the U.S. into a smaller more accommodating country, Kelly then goes forward with a series of snarky rejoinders on why various states, like Florida (too much drugs), won't be included.

Not particularly amusing, but what really caught my eye was this whopper in the opening paragraph:

So once again, as The Beach Boys once so famously said, "our nation turns its lonely eyes to you".

Uhmmm . . . yeah, about that . . . you see it wasn't the Beach Boys that said that in song, it was Simon & Garfunkel in the very famous song Mrs. Robinson. You know . . . won a couple of Grammys, used in that little Dustin Hoffman pic The Graduate . . . hit number one on the charts . . .

You know, that's not a hard thing to look up with a search engine these days. Or perhaps maybe just ask someone over the age of twenty. I mean, you're supposed to be writing as a professional or at least a compensated blogger or some such. I should also mention here that he said it took him three tries to spell the word lonely correctly. Which is pretty pathetic. Spell check anyone?

And this guy gets to post his stuff on a big time website/blog? Go figure.

Also, there's supposed to be a big rally in Washington DC to support President Trump in September. It's being called The Mother of all Rallies, which I'm sure won't drive liberals or Trump haters any more crazy than they already are. But that's not all, now we see that the Juggalos will be joining the march. 'Cause that's exactly what the hyperbolic media needs to see is a bunch of guys in clown makeup marching with Trump supporters who the media already assumes are 100% racist, Nazi, white supremacists.

What could go wrong?

Oh yeah, almost forgot . . . Maria Chappelle-Nadal, the state senator from Missouri who wrote on her Facebook page that she hoped that President Trump would be assassinated, has finally apologized for that outrageous (and illegal) posting.

Yes, she was all straight back and shoulders square and she wasn't going to apologize for what she said. It was wrong to say it out loud, but she wasn't going to apologize for it. That bravery lasted less than a week as the Democratic party was publicly calling for her ouster from the Senate and Missouri's governor was, and is still, looking for ways to remove her from office.

With the prospect of losing her gravy train paycheck and perhaps having to actually go back to work looming and the realization that while Dems and their media lackies wouldn't blink about her calling the President a racist . . . indirectly calling for his assassination . . . no one's got your back on this one honey.

So she apologized. And naturally managed to virtue signal her sturdy Christian faith, that was oddly absent when she was calling for Trump to be murdered, while apologizing to anyone and everyone she could think of.

You buying that? Yeah, me neither. Know who else may not be buying it? The Secret Service. I believe their investigation is still open. I think I read somewhere that advocating for the assassination of a sitting President is a Federal crime. Ms. Chappell-Nadal might walk out of her cushy Senate office and right into an 8x10 cell if things don't go her way.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Taylor Swift wins a dollar

taylor swift wins lawsuit

Lost in the insanity of this weekend's festival of hate was a tiny victory for celebs who get treated like ATM's by unscrupulous parasites.

After losing his job over complaints by Taylor Swift's mother and management, DJ David Mueller sued Swifty for $3 million, claiming the charges that he groped Swift during a photo session were false.

Instead of backing down to avoid publicity, Swift counter-sued for $1.00 and went to court looking for a fight.

Mueller must have hired his attourney from upstairs law school (hat tip: The Simpsons), because this bozo did such a bad job questioning Swift that her own attourney didn't bother presenting a case, just asked for a ruling and got it from the jury.

Despite whether you're a fan of her music or not, it's hard to deny that Swift is a talented writer. And if you've watched any of the silly celeb stuff about her, one thing is obvious -- she isn't afraid to take a shot at anyone she feels has disrespected her, usually doing so in song. So how Mueller and his folks wouldn't think she'd show up prepared to perform at a trial is a headscratcher.

I personally liked the fact that she didn't play wilting flower on the stand, stating forcefully at one point that she wasn't going to be made to feel responsible for being groped. And later pointing out that no, the front of her dress didn't look disturbed by the groping because her ass is located in the back of her body (the photographic evidence is pretty damning and available everywhere right now).

Pretty awesome stuff. Not sure whether that will earn her cred with the girl power set, but it ought to. Also not sure whether this was just the result of an incompetent lawyer on Mueller's part and a well prepared Swift, but it may just be that under that carefully maintained public visage, Taylor Swift might just be a lot harder edged than anyone realizes.

Katy Perry and others might want to tread a bit more lightly next time they decide to start a cutesy music feud with Swifty. Just a suggestion.

Not exactly connected to the above post, but interestingly, as of yesterday Swift had wiped clean all her social media accounts, even removing the avatar images for those account. Her Instagram is now wiped clean too. And she's unfollowed everyone on her social media accounts. New music coming out? She's relentless about putting out new stuff every two years, so maybe that.

Like I said, I'm not particularly a fan of her music, but she does seem to have a way with working the industry to her favor. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Not exactly a movie review -- Atomic Blonde

atomic blonde movie poster

Atomic Blonde is a cold war spy movie set in Germany about a week before the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989.

The plot is fairly basic -- there's yet another of those ubiquitous "lists" that someone seems to have compiled, of every agent on every side that is working in and around Germany and western Europe. For this movie, the compiler is an East German Stasi agent who wants to trade the list for safe passage for him and his family to the west. And he's made a deal to trade it with MI-6. Problem is the MI-6 agent gets killed and the list is gone. The Brits send Lorraine somethingorother, Charlize Theron, to West Germany to retrieve the fallen agent, retrieve the list, and oh by the way the list has the name and identity of a double agent, code named Satchel, who's been raping MI-6 for information for years and giving it to the Russians and those damn Yanks. So capturing him as well would be nice, but putting a bullet in his head . . . better.

The movie is played out in flashback format via a debrief of Lorraine at MI-6 headquarters where her superiors are implying that something not only went wrong with the mission, something may be very amiss with Lorraine herself.

The movie starts out at full throttle and never lets up with jarring action, wonderful imagery of late 80's West Germany and good twists and turns and double and triple crosses that aren't nearly as obvious as some reviewers (I'm looking right at you Christian Toto) would have you believe. It's well worth the watch, but it's R rated for a reason -- brutal violence, nudity, and a bit of lesbian sex between Theron and Sofia Boutella. Plus enough bad language and that evil cigarette smoking to get puritans on both sides of the political spectrum clutching their pearls in anguish.

But this movie is more than just another action flick for some of us. The director, David Leitch, was the second unit director on the John Wick movies. Which is to say, that he was the guy in charge of the action and stunt sequences of the movie -- basically the parts of those movies that made them such fan favorites.

He's also the guy who is slated to direct the next Deadpool movie. And fans like myself have a vested interest to see how Leitch does with his first turn in the big chair. Answer -- pretty f*cking well.

Besides the overall look of Atomic Blonde -- set design, wardrobe, cinematography and so on, there's a hip atmosphere to the movie and some clever touches that show some style. The soundtrack is all Big 80's from the MTV era and though it is literally too loud in some points, it gave the film the requisite retro touch. You could lose yourself in the time period easily while watching the film.

But it's the action sequences that make this movie, just as in John Wick. Theron never seems to make those endless fanboy lists online of favorite female action stars, and I never understand why. Sigourney Weaver had about 10 minutes of tough girl action in the second Alien movie and she's on the top of everyone's pedestal for action goddess. Theron's been getting it done for years on screen in numerous roles and simply doesn't seem to get the fanboy love she deserves. Go figure.

And she continues here. In interviews, Leitch said he wanted the action brutal and unapologetic and he delivered that in spades. Theron doesn't just dish out the punishment, she gets the sh*t beat out of her as well. Plenty of times. In fact, another of the things I like about her is that despite her jaw dropping beauty, she doesn't need to look like a runway model on screen at all times. See her portrayal in the last Mad Max movie for proof. Find another current female star that would have accepted that look on screen.

Charlize may start the flashback looking great, but by the time the debrief occurs, she's literally covered in bruises, her hands are bruised with tape over her knuckles, she's sporting a split lip and a black eye with a contact lens in there to make the eye look swollen and hemorrhaged. There's a realism in her appearance that's refreshing -- she looks like she's been thrown down ten flights of stairs and done her best to cover up the results with make-up, like any woman would. That's a nice touch in film making, I think.

And the fight sequences themselves are breathtaking. Grounded in a more real world vibe, they don't evoke a superhero feel with wild impossible moves and indestructible combatants. In the movie, Lorraine comes across as a well trained, talented agent who, though not as strong as her male adversaries, may have better skills and takes advantage of any casual weapon within reach. And we also learn that she's not just wearing those stunning thigh high boots with stiletto heels as a fashion statement . . . they're a deadly weapon as well. Clever.

But as I said before, she takes as much punishment as she dishes out. Especially in her two encounters with one of the Russian's top thug/agents. Played by Daniel Bernhardt (you'd recognize him as the top thug in the first John Wick movie) these two go at it furiously with Theron losing their first encounter convincingly and their final battle was so brutal I was actually turning sideways in my seat. It was hard to watch. But it shows that in an "action" flick, Director Leitch is going to bring it on screen.

So for those of us wondering if he's going to have the chops to do the next Deadpool movie justice . . . I think we can relax and wait for it to hit the big screen.

aside: As I write this, Josh Brolin who will be playing Cable in the next Deadpool movie has posted an image of himself showing his new buffed up physique for the part. He looks amazing. So he won't be the big hulking version of Cable as we've seen in the comics, but he's got the superhero physique handled. And he's a talented actor, so I think we're okay going forward.

And just because I have them, here's a few pics of Chalize from her 1999 appearance in Playboy:

*click on the thumbnails for full-sized images*

charlize theron playboycharlize theron playboycharlize theron playboy
charlize theron playboycharlize theron playboycharlize theron playboy

Did you find this discussion helpful? Check out my other not exactly a movie reviews for my thoughts on the flicks and the occasional gallery of hotness that accompanies them:

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rule 5 Sunday -- Gabrielle

model gabe

So I take the occasional look around my stats to see what folks are looking at, searching for etc. This isn't a high traffic blog, and I'm not posting as regularly as I have in the past, but I'm always curious about the metrics of who and why and so on.

A number of years back, I did a Rule 5 posting on this model Gabrielle, and oddly enough, there is a fair amount of continual searching going on for her that that silly little post generates enough traffic to rank it in the top ten month after month. Go figure.

I looked around the recesses of my hard drive, and I had some unused images of this model, substantially more racy than the ones I posted before (that was back when Blogger was hinting that they were going to crack down on R-rated imagery), so for those who keep looking for this girl . . . here ya' go. Enjoy.

*click on the thumbnails for full-sized images*

model gabemodel gabemodel gabe model gabemodel gabemodel gabe model gabemodel gabemodel gabe

Rule 5 Sunday suggested by this.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Taylor Momsen is still alive . . . and topless

Haven't heard much from actress/songbird Taylor Momsen in a while. Last thing I posted about her was the video for Heaven Knows, a pretty decent rocker that got some serious airplay at the time.

I was just thinking the other day that she seemed to have dropped off the radar since then, but lo and behold, a pic turns up online today of her prepping for what looks to be a video shoot for a song. Naturally she's topless, I guess the A&R guys think that's the only was people will pay attention to her.

Frankly, though I have nothing against a little skin from my female celebs, if Taylor could get some decent songwriting going and churn out some good rock, she could appear in a burlap bag and I'd be happy.

Anyway, here's the pic:

taylor momsen topless for video shoot

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Chloe Bennett in a bikini

chloe bennett hard nipples in a bikini

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hottie Chloe Bennett is doin' the vacay thing in Hawaii with her new (I think) boyfriend, and some enterprising pap got some fairly decent shots of her in the surf:

chloe bennett hard nipples in a bikini

I've written before about Bennett's low profile vis-a-vis her public appearances in this overexposed famewhore society celebs live in these days. Bennett has an active Instagram account full of images that could be pretty much anyone as she constantly slathers graphics over herself or has pics taken out of focus or overexposed by direct sunlight. So these are a bit of a treat.

chloe bennett nice ass in a bikini
chloe bennett nice ass in a bikini
chloe bennett hard nipples in a bikini
chloe bennett nice hard nipples in a bikini

I cropped the boyfriend out as much as possible for obvious reasons, but major points off for the young man's use of a selfie stick.


If those things ever had a "cool" factor, it disappeared the second former President Obama was seen using one.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gillian Anderson in and out of her bikini

X-files alum and red-haired fantasy girl of fanboys everywhere Gillian Anderson has made a bit of a public resurgence since her appearance as the God Media, in the trippy STARZ series American Gods recently. She's a bit botoxy looking for my taste, but it's hard to deny that her 47 year old body is looking pretty rocking in a bikini, as evidenced by these paparazzi shots that appeared online over the last week:

gillian anderson bikini
gillian anderson bikini

And in this case, the pap was actually rewarded with a few delightfully uncensored images of the usually modest Anderson:

gillian anderson bikini ass
gillian anderson bikini sideboob nipple

Her husband appears to be not half a naughty bastard, as they might have said in RocknRolla (one of my favorite movies), as he takes advantage of a distracted Gillian whilst she puts up their umbrella:

gillian anderson bikini shaved pussy

I love her bemused expression as he goes exploring, it's a playful side we rarely seem to see of Anderson in her movie roles or interviews. If that's more like her real personality, she should show it off more, imho.

To round things out, here's some imperfect screen caps from some movie she did a few years ago that no one probably saw, and a magazine shoot where she looks sexy, but a bit . . . botoxy, as I said before. Maybe that's just her natural look, I don't know:

gillian anderson nude topless
gillian anderson sexy

So-called gender equality ruining shooting sports

The average person probably did not notice last week, but the International Sport Shooting Foundation, the governing body for Olympic shooting events, decided they needed to implement their own version of Title IX parity in the Olympics.

As you may know, Title IX was intended to insure that girls in high school and college were being given equal opportunity to compete in sports while in school. However, as is usually the case, the NCAA and other organizations controlling high school and college sports took the "kill a mosquito with a sledgehammer" approach to enforcing the rule. So gone were men's swimming and wrestling and other legendary college sports teams to make way for competitive tumbling and cheerleading teams . . . that is, when the schools could manage to entice girls who weren't really interested in sports to get involved anyway.

Like most efforts in social engineering, it's a f*cking mess.

And so is this current debacle.

In the name of diversity and inclusion and every other buzz word popular with today's SJW crowd, there will no longer be a Men's Double Trap competition or a Men's 50 meter prone rifle competition or a Men's 50 meter pistol competition. Seeing a pattern here?

It's not known to the average viewer, but the Men's 50m pistol event, commonly referred to by competitors as Free Pistol is one of the oldest and most famous shooting events in the Olympics, dating back to the 1890's. The f*cking 1890's!!! That's a 120+ years of Olympic history folks!!

Yes, yes, by all means, let's toss a historic shooting event on the trash heap simply because women can't or don't care to compete in it!

It should be noted that there are women's pistol events in the Olympics -- air pistol and sport pistol, the latter being a version of what men compete in as centerfire pistol (not in the Olympics though, only women's sport pistol is an event), the difference being women shoot a .22cal pistol in sport pistol where men use a pistol chambered for centerfire cartridges. Also, in my competitive experience, in state championships and smaller matches, the ladies compete on equal footing with the guys in all disciplines, the exception being the previously mentioned sport/cf pistol division.

But to replace those three venerable Olympic shooting competitions we now have the ridiculous events of Mixed Gender Team events in Trap, 10 meter air rifle, and 10 meter air pistol.

ISSF President Olegario Vázquez Raña breathlessly let the world know that his organization conducted an exhaustive two year study to come up with this abomination, noting that this was a fundamental step forward for shooting sports and that promoting inclusion and gender equality by insuring that there are exactly the same number of events available to men and women will support further growth in shooting sports around the world.

No words of condolences have been offered to the 30 Olympic hopefuls who won't have the opportunity to realize their dream of becoming an Olympian because the number of athletes will drop from 390 to 360 under this change. And I may have missed it, but to my knowledge, there hasn't been some anguished outcry from female athletes that they are not fairly represented in the shooting sports in the Olympics. I mean, basically what the ISSF is doing here is adding three women's events to the schedule. Why not just add a Women's 50m pistol, prone rifle and double trap to the list of events.

You know the answer to that, and it has nothing to do with inclusion. Quite the opposite in fact.

I'm also wondering what will come when we have a mixed gender team totally composed of biological males but with the supposed female member(s) being someone who only identifies as female. We have to be inclusive after all, right Mr. Rana? And in my experience as a competitive shooter, I've seen some good women shooters, but for the most part, the guys are better, far better, at the pistol events than the gals.

This could start to look like these city and state track and field events where boys are winning the girls events and championships, because they supposedly identify as female.

What bullsh*t! Almost makes me glad I cannot compete anymore. By the way, to their credit, USA Shooting, the sanctioning body for US Olympic shooting sports categorically opposes these changes and notes they had nothing to do with the decision to alter the make up of the Olympic shooting schedule of events.

Good for them.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Maitland Ward eschews the subtlety

My favorite redhead has been fairly quiet on Twitter and Snapchat and such recently, putting out SFW images in the sans fards format. But the other day, she apparently couldn't take it any more and banged out this little number leaving nothing to the imagination:

maitland ward topless nipples

Not that I'm complaining mind you, but I do tire of folks applying these maddening filters to their photos to achieve what they believe is an artistic effect. Not everyone can be Helmut Newton, you know? Sometimes it's better to just take the picture and let fans do with it what they will, artistically speaking. For instance, I cleaned the following pics up a bit in Photoshop to get rid of that tinting and improve the clarity of the image:

maitland ward topless in fishnet
maitland ward topless in fishnet
maitland ward topless in fishnet
maitland ward topless in fishnet

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Late night flashback

Dutch actress Famke Janssen has eschewed the nudity in print and movies for the majority of her career. But way back when she was still a young model at 25, she did a layout for Vogue UK and probably wasn't in any position to object to a bit of overexposure in one of the images:

famke janssen bare breast vogue uk 1989

It's not exactly going to break the internet, or ruin the day for Ms. Janssen that this pic is back out in circulation, so I think it's okay for you to enjoy this rare look at a very attractive young model/actress on the rise.

This week in climate hysteria

In case you missed it, the world ended this week. President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, and just like that, civilization died. Noted Nobel Laureate climate scholars such as John Kerry, Joe Scarborough and Jerry Brown told us that the death toll would be in the millions as pestilence, famine and raging super storms would immediately sweep across the planet in an apocalyptic wave of destruction that would be . . . well . . . apocalyptic.

Here's the problem with all that -- none of it is true or possible or based on science of any kind.

Let's start with the fact that the treaty was illegally signed by former President and supposed constitutional scholar Barack Obama. The United States of America is not a monarchy. Presidents do not have the power to sign treaties. Treaties must be approved by Congress. That's Schoolhouse Rock 101. You'd think the brilliant lightworker sent to us from another dimension would have known that.

I know, of course he knew that, he just didn't care. But it really didn't matter because the treaty was non-binding which meant it was simply an international exercise in virtue signaling. But it was also stupid and dangerous and very one-sided in what it sought to do, which was serve as socialist wealth redistribution from countries like the U.S. to underdeveloped or poor countries around the world.

And while it imposed draconian levels of CO2 reduction for America, it left other massive polluting nations like China and India free to do whatever they wished for decades to come. While America would be sending billions overseas to dictatorships that keep their citizens living in squalor, we here would see our fuel costs skyrocket and millions of jobs lost due to the shutting down of current power production facilities.

And let's remember the biggest fallacy of this entire scenario -- that we must reduce global CO2 levels to combat global warming or climate change or whatever. Global CO2 levels are actually at historic lows, despite the industrialized nature of the world today. And in fact, CO2 is a necessary part of life on this planet. Plants need CO2 to survive, and the modest increase has contributed to an actual, provable greening of the planet over the last two decades. And though planetary CO2 levels have increased over the last two decades, planetary tempuratures (measured by RSS, the most accurate method) have not increased.

Al Gore made himself the prophet of climate apocalypse with his laughable powerpoint movie, and yet not a single prediction of his has come even close to materializing. Remember, right now, according to Gore, New York is supposed to be under water because the polar ice caps were supposed to have totally melted away. As of 2016, Arctic ice levels are actually 22% higher than the previous low point of 2012. Antarctica is actually gaining ice mass and NASA suspects that ice growth is slowing the rise of the oceans.

And yeah, rising oceans, let's talk about that for a moment. The oceans are rising at the same rate they have been for as long as we've had the ability to accurately measure it. Using tide gauges, scientists (not actors or politicians or musicians) show that ocean levels are rising at less than 2 millimeters per year. At that rate, it would take 300 years for sea levels to rise one foot. That's hardly flooding of biblical proportions.

Extreme weather events simply haven't increased with the U.S. currently in a period of historic lows for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc. As someone so elegantly put it -- the only prediction that has come true from IPCC reports is that each succeeding report will predict even worse climate scenarios. And it is important to note that the IPCC, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is not a scientific organization but a political one comprised of over 80% politicians. Any wonder that their pronouncements and dire predictions seem only aimed at punishing developed countries in the name of global wealth distribution.

So if Michael Bloomberg wants to donate $15million of his own dollars to the Paris Accord folks, more power to him. If idiot mayors like Bill deBlasio want to declare that their cities will abide by the accord and jack up power costs and restrict their citizen's rights and lifestyles . . . go for it. And if you want to live like that, by all means, move to one of those cities where celebs with carbon footprints the size of Godzilla live like kings and queens while those who aren't millionaires struggle to stay warm in winter and not overheat in summer while they walk or ride a bicycle to work and see their paychecks decimated by massive tax increases to cover the costs of appeasing the cult of climate change.

Donald Trump has done his share of stupid things since becoming President, but he got this one right. Perhaps if he had better speechwriters, he could defend his case for occasionally doing the right thing in a better way.

Joanna Krupa got a little too clever here

Model and very occasional actress Joanna Krupa has developed her own cottage industry of appearing in photo shoots that tease some sort of nudity or supposed accidental exposure like this. While she has appeared naked in a variety of venues, she mostly seems to work at the almost there type of thing. Just recently she worked on a beach shoot in a shreddy sort of shawl designed, I'm sure, to push the envelope and tantalize her fans:
joanna krupa nip slip

Like I said, she's not averse to nudity, I just get the impression she'd prefer not to just leave it all out there every time. And I don't have a problem with that, sometimes the tease is more fun than the reveal. But other pics from the shoot indicate she might have underestimated the exposure potential of this particular outfit.

Still, she's a gamer, she left the pics out there. I appreciate the honesty of it all -- she knows her market and isn't ashamed to keep herself in the public eye.

joanna krupa nip slip
joanna krupa nip slip

Friday, June 2, 2017

Movie Review -- Wonder Woman

wonder woman poster movie review

I began developing my jones for mythology back in junior high school (that's what they called middle school in prehistoric times). I took 2 1/2 years of Latin and a great deal of that was translations of not only speeches and texts but also Roman mythology. I loved it. And I followed that by reading about Greek mythology, which was the same thing only different names for the Gods. And then Norse mythology and so on. Bulfinch's mythology . . . I've still got that somewhere.

So when I began buying subscriptions for comic books, besides X-Men and Daredevil, I also got Thor. How could I not? A mythological god turned superhero?! Had to have that. I loved them and like other fans, suffered through years of horrible Thor appearances in television. But when MARVEL decided to do a Thor movie, I was excited. When I saw that Kenneth Branagh was directing, I knew it would be good. Unlike many fans, I liked that movie and Branagh's Shakespearean vibe on Asgard and the relationships between those who dwelled there.

One thing I didn't like was that they didn't follow the mythology of the Thor character from the comics. Taking a cue from Asimov's theorem about technology -- that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, they simply made Thor and the other Asgardians aliens. Clever but disappointing

I had conversations with screenwriter Michael France (Hulk, Fantastic Four, Goldeneye, Cliffhanger, etc.) about that when Thor came out. His position was that moviegoers wouldn't accept the notion of actual gods, that it was too ridiculous. I thought to myself that the notion of a guy who can spontaneously burst into flames and fly or a dude made out of rock or a girl who can turn invisible and project force fields was pretty ridiculous too, but . . .

With Wonder Women we see that maybe either audiences have changed or the world has changed or something. Because they don't shy away from the original mythology of who and what Diana is. After a shout out to Batman v Superman, we get Diana's life as a young child on Themyscira. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson), is wildly protective of the rebellious young girl who wants desperately to be a warrior like the other Amazons.

But along with a fairly literal explanation, via Greek mythology, of how and why the Amazons came into being, we also get clues that Diana may be much more than what she appears to be and the Queen may be hiding or protecting her from a greater evil in the world.

We see Diana grow into adulthood, in the person of achingly beautiful Gal Gadot, and soon thereafter the Amazons secluded paradise is breached by the outside world and the horror raging there -- World War I.

After a brutal battle with Germans on the beach of Themyscira, Diana, convinced that Ares, the God of War, is behind what's happening in the world outside, steals the weapons given to the Amazons by Zeus and leaves the island with downed pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to find and kill Ares and restore mankind to what she believes and has been taught is their inherent goodness.

It's against this fairly simple plot background that the movie plays out. There's a lot of empowerment going on here, and I don't mean girl power stuff. Again and again, Diana's naïve nobility and morality moves those around her to take action and/or make tough choices. She rails at her mother when Hippolyta tries to stop Diana from leaving. How can we stand by and watch millions die and do nothing, Diana asks. The Amazons were created by Zeus to protect mankind and stop Ares, that's their purpose to exist, she points out. She has to do something.

She berates a room full of Allied Generals for sitting in safety and comfort, while rank and file soldiers die on the battlefield. A true General should fight along side their troops, she says, risk their own lives just like the warriors they command. She calls them cowards and tells them they should be ashamed of themselves.

Once on the front, confronted for the first time in her existence, Diana sees the horror of war and is moved by it. When they pass through the trenches, she hears the laments of townsfolk who have suffered under German occupation. She hears how the Allied soldiers have been trapped in these trenches for a year, unable to move an inch over what is cleverly called "no man's land." Trevor wants to stay on mission, his mission, to find this evil General. But again, Diana rails about how they cannot simply ignore the suffering around them. Climbing out of the trench in full Amazon regalia, she wades into a hail of bullets and machine gun fire and the image of her bravery moves first Trevor and his team and then the Allied soldiers to storm the German front and crash through. It's a moving and heroic moment, and not nearly as cloying as it might have been under another director. And indeed, has become the signature sequence in the movie. Fun factoid -- director Jenkins had to fight to get this scene into the final cut as the studio didn't think it was necessary. Sometimes you've got to trust the artist, ya know.

Time and again through the rest of the movie these sorts of scenarios play out. And not always just Diana inspiring the others, but she is also inspired by the bravery and self-sacrifice of Trevor and his mates assembled for the mission in typically pc movie making style -- a drunken Scottish sniper who can't shoot anymore, a noble Arab actor turned mercenary and a noble American Indian turned smuggler. *sigh*

I'm not familiar with director Patty Jenkins, but she did a good job balancing the emotional ride of this movie and navigating what could have been some groan inducing moments. The battle on the beach, featuring women warriors armed with bows and arrows and swords against soldiers armed with guns could have required epic suspension of disbelief. Instead we saw exactly what one might reasonably expect -- death on both sides with the good guys (or girls in this case) coming out on top but not without some tragic loss.

Diana's growth from the cloistered environment of Themyscira through some enjoyable comic moments in 1917 London to seeing that war and battle isn't all romance and glorifying bedtime stories to her final realization that life and the world isn't everything she thought it would be is all handled quite well.

I've seen some bitching on various outlets that Gadot isn't built like a bodybuilder or a busty Playboy model (you just can't please some folks) but she's plenty athletic enough to carry off the very stylish battle/fight sequences. And honestly, that lithe physique seems perfect for the role. She's also a very good actress, conveying the varying emotions of the movie effortlessly and effectively. I read where she had thought about leaving acting prior to getting this role. I think maybe she's gonna have a real career boost after this movie.

If I do have a complaint it is about the final confrontation with Ares. Yes, she does finally meet him. The physical battle seems forced, as if the writers simply didn't know how a god might do battle. We get yet another reveal about who and what Diana actually is and there's one little continuity error that may need some explaining in future movies. I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen anyone on these fanboy sites bring it up.

All in all, this is a really good movie. One of the better origin story movies so far. I'd rank it up there with Deadpool and Chris Nolan's Batman Begins in terms of an origin story flick that casual fans will enjoy. I've seen some bitching about the runtime -- it's just over two hours, but I saw it last night at the 10:40pm showing and didn't even notice how late it was when it was done. Btw, don't hang around for a post-credits scene, there isn't one.

If you've been bummed about DC's last couple of flicks, give this movie a look. I think they may have a legit hit on their hands here. I certainly hope it does well. With Justice League coming out this fall, a successful Wonder Woman lead in could really help that movie and others in the DC universe get on the good foot with movie goers.

Update 1:
Looks like the movie is starting off well with reports of an $11m Thursday opening, which puts Wonder Woman somewhere between Logan at $9.5m and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at $17m.

Update 2:
I stand duly chastised. I pointed out what I thought was a continuity error in the movie -- in her confrontation with Ares, the God of War destroys Diana's sword The Godkiller and yet I thought she was still wielding it in BvS. Turns out I was wrong, as several commenters on a fanboy site so helpfully [\sarc] pointed out. Diana wields something called the Sword of Athena in BvS and is also using a new shield. No explanation for why other than director Zack Snyder wanted to inscribe some quotes/verses on the items as part of his artistic creation process. Perhaps in a future movie we'll get an explanation for where the new weapons came from.

Update 3:
Numbers are in for the weekend opening -- three days from Thursday thru Saturday (again, not my stats bro) and Wonder Woman has a domestic gross of $100.5m and $223m worldwide, so along with a critical success, DC and the studios have an official hit on their hands. Important to note that both BvS and Suicide Squad made a ton of money worldwide, but suffered from some pretty savage critical reviews that weren't completely deserved in my humble opinion (I actually liked BvS. You can check out my thoughts on SS in a previous post). Anyway, bully for Gadot and Jenkins for their success with this movie.

Did you find this review helpful? Check out my other reviews for my thoughts on the flicks and the occasional gallery of hotness that accompanies them: