My Fave Five Kick-Ass Movie Heroines

Hello, friends!

As you may know, the latest video game to film adaptation, Tomb Raider, hit theaters several weeks ago to mixed reviews.  While I myself enjoyed it, it was not the most original adventure film. However, there is no denying the tenacity and ferocity and overall bad-ass-ity of Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft. This got me thinking of other strong, kick-ass women in film, especially over the last several years when there has been an influx of leading action ladies it seems. I’ve decided to narrow down my picks for this list to films made after 2000, otherwise this could have easily become a fave ten list. Here are my five favorite kick-ass movie heroines.

Mako Mori (Pacific Rim)5) Mako Mori (Pacific Rim / Pacific Rim: Uprising)

In a world dominated by male Jaeger pilots, Mako Mori showed that she was just as capable. When Raleigh was looking for his partner to pilot Gypsy Danger, he could tell right away that Mako was the perfect fit. Despite her adoptive father’s reluctance, he let her get into the Jaeger with Raleigh because he saw her determination and willingness to do what she knows is right.  Once inside the giant machine, she proved that she was indeed the perfect partner for Raleigh, ensuring together the Kaijus were defeated.

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)4) Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

The inspiration for this list. In the latest big screen iteration of Lara, she isn’t portrayed as an invincible hero. Rather, she get bumps and bruises along her journey, showing she is, in fact, vulnerable. She is also smart, creative, and physically fit. She puts these skills and traits to good use to dispatch men who are twice her size, as well as find the island where her father went missing and navigate through Himiko’s tomb. If there is anyone I’d want at my side for my next globe-trotting adventure, it’s Lara.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series)3) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)

Hermione Granger makes this list for several reasons. One, she is a fantastic and powerful witch, knowledgeable in many charms and spells. Two, she is one of the few people Ron and Hermione are actually afraid of, especially when she gets angry. Three, she would do anything for her friends, whether that would be help them learn a spell or hunt Lord Voldemort. Fourth, and the most important, she made the ultimate sacrifice of erasing her very existence from her parents’ memory to protect them. Hermione proved several times over that she is one of the strongest women around.

The Bride (Kill Bill(2) Beatrix Kiddo aka the Bride (Kill Bill)

Calling the Bride a heroine might be a bit of a stretch but the Kill Bill movies are all about her quest for revenge so I’m not going to argue. If there is anyone on this list to be most afraid of, it’s the Bride. After getting shot and left for dead, she hunts down those responsible and takes them down without mercy. I could watch her fight scene with the Crazy 88’s or Vernita Green over and over again. Her body count alone between both films is enough to cement her status as a genuine bad-ass.

Princess Diana (Wonder Woman)1) Princess Diana (Wonder Woman)

I have to be honest, I lied to you a little in the introduction. While Tomb Raider was the motivation to create this list, Wonder Woman was the film that first made me think about creating this list and who should be on it. The Amazonian princess sees the good in the world and those around her. She did not hesitate to cross No Man’s Land when she knew doing so was dangerous but was necessary to help the greater good. Not only is Diana pure of heart, she is strong as hell! She fought the god of war and came out the victor. Wonder Woman’s purity of heart, desire to do what is right, and literal god-like strength easily puts her number one on my list of kick-ass heroines.


Honorable mentions include Katness (The Hunger Games series), Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road), and Lorraine Broughton (Atomic Blonde).

Who are some of your favorite kick-ass movie heroines?

Until next time, cheers!

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Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 4! Anniversary Celebration: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 4

Hello, friends!

I’m happy to see you could make it to my blogiversary celebration! Four years ago today, I took the plunge and started this little blog of mine. To celebrate this milestone, I have reviewed all three of the Brendan Frasier Mummy films.  If you missed any of them, here they are:

The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

I have seen some great, and not so great, films over the past 365 days.  Per tradition, here are my five favorite films I watched during my fourth year of blogging.

Wonder Woman movie poster5) Wonder Woman

I had a hard time deciding what movie was going to fill this fifth spot. This slot also could have gone to Spider-Man: Homecoming or Atomic Blonde. Instead, I chose Wonder Woman for several reasons. First of which, Gal Gadot makes for the perfect Wonder Woman. Also, it gives girls a female superhero they can look up to. But finally, DC finally made a good superhero movie as part of their Extended Universe (DCEU). The final act left a lot to be desired and turned into your hero vs villain slug fest. However, I think the first two-thirds made up for it easily.

John Wick: Chapter 2 movie poster4) John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick made my top films of Year 2 and I rated Chapter 2 higher so it should come as no surprise this made the list again this year. Chapter 2 does everything that a good sequel should do: ups the stakes for the the main character, develop the main character more, and build the world around them. John Wick definitely had a lot more to deal with but we also learned a lot more about his past. My favorite thing about these movies is the assassin underworld it created. In the first film, only the surface was explored. Like Wick’s past, we learn much more about this assassin world.  Going into the film, I wasn’t sure that I wanted a second John Wick movie but now I can’t wait for the third.

Moana movie poster3) Moana

Disney has been on an awesome trend lately of making great films and Moana keeps the trend going. Auli’i Cravalho, a first-time actress, does wonderfully as the titular character. Dwayne Johnson has quickly become one of my favorite actors at the moment and Maui was the role he was born to play.  I could honestly go on and on about how much I love this film but you can just read my review for all that. 😛

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie poster2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I honestly wasn’t a big fan of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. As a result, I was a little more weary going into Rogue One than I would have expected. This movie seems to be one of the more polarizing films among Star Wars fans but I greatly enjoyed it. Several characters did not get the development the deserved, mostly the movie saw them as expendable. However, this is one of the most action-heavy chapters of the Star Wars saga. The final third of the film was one giant action scene that eclipses the last third of The Return of the Jedi. It also gave fans one of the most badass Darth Vader scenes. What more could you ask for?

Your Name movie poster1) Your Name

Not to sound like an insensitive jerk, but I have never been so happy for someone to have gotten sick than when my buddy’s wife got sick, leaving him with an extra ticket to the limited theatrical release of Your Name. Because had she been healthy, I would have missed this wonderful film. The best word to describe this film is gorgeous. And the story is equally as beautiful and engaging. It’s funny to see interviews with the director saying he doesn’t feel this film should be getting all the praise it has because I think it deserves all that praise and then some. Your Name isn’t only one of the best films I have seen in the last year, it is one of the best films I have seen ever.


And that’s it! I have finished another year at DMR. I can’t thank all of you enough. Every like and comment remind me why I’m still blogging. Your love and support means the world to me and I would not be here without you. Thank you all so much! Let’s make year five even more memorable. 😀

Until next time, cheers!

Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman movie posterSynopsis
Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) and the Amazons live in isolation from the rest of the world on the island of Themyscira, preparing for the return of Ares, the god of war. When Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an American pilot and spy, crashes onto the island and tells of a “war to end all wars” in the outside world, Diana, convinced Ares is behind the conflict, leaves her home with Trevor to stop Ares and end the war.

Review
A Wonder Woman film has been a long time coming. Of DC’s “trinity” (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) she is the only character to not receive her own live-action film. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is easily the highlight of the movie. So how does she do starring front and center in her own film? Well, I can happily say Wonder Woman is the movie the fans have been waiting for in her 75+ year history.

Warner Bros. made an absolutely great casting choice with Gal Gadot. She captures every aspect about the character perfectly. She can be soft and gentle in one scene, like when she was excited to see a baby, or warm and caring in another, like when she had her moments with her team, then she can be strong and tough in the next scene, like when she single-handedly enters No Man’s Land. Gadot gave Diana a sense naivety and wonder about about the world but still felt powerful. I could go on but I’d feel like I was repeating myself. In short, she was positively wonderful.

As great as Gadot was as the titular character, that’s not even my favorite part. I think what I liked best about Wonder Woman was that it actually had a sense of adventure. Also, it wasn’t dark like Batman v Superman or Man of Steel, and it actually had humorous moments. It never became overly doom and gloom, like the previous DC Extended Universe (DCEU) films, nor did it feel as lighthearted as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. There was a nice balance between the seriousness and the fun sides of the movie.

Every superhero movie these days is building towards the next movie or several movies in the universe, well the DCEU and MCU films do anyway. This is a double edge sword because on one hand, it is fun to see the different characters interact with each other but on the other it can make the movie feel bloated or unfocused. Another one of Wonder Woman‘s strengths is that it doesn’t have this problem. It is completely self-contained. It is book-ended with scenes showcasing where in the DCEU chronology it takes place, but everything in between is its own thing. This works out great because then that means the movie can stay centered on Wonder Woman herself without having to worry about anybody else or future plot points.

Because the film’s focus is strictly on Wonder Woman, the story is very tight and focused for a superhero movie. There are no extra characters. Everyone exists to push Diana’s story forward. Every scene serves a purpose of building Diana’s character or the conflict she faces. There is nothing extraneous, nothing without purpose, or nothing without reason. It is a refreshing change of pace to to see a superhero movie that only focuses on whose name is in the title instead of worrying about anybody else or future plot points.

I mentioned the perfect casting of Gal Gadot but I have to commend the rest of the cast as well. Chris Pine was a great choice as the male lead. He feels like a good, grounded counter to Gadot’s innocent Diana. Saïd Taghmaoui as the team’s quick-talking Sameer was a blast to watch. I would have liked to learn just a little bit more about Ewen Bremner’s Charlie and Eugene Brave Rock’s The Chief. Both seem like they have some interesting histories that were barely touched on. However, the highlight for me was any scene with Lucy Davis as Steve Trevor’s secretary Etta Candy. She was an absolute hoot and stole all her scenes. It’s a little disappointing knowing this will be the only time spent with the character because I cold use more Etta Candy in my life.

Like many superhero films, the weakest part of Wonder Woman comes from its villains. General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Hudson) and Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya) are the main baddies but they only act as the personification of the evil Diana is trying to stop; There isn’t much to them. It feels like they are villains almost simply because they are Nazis. Ares could be called the overarching villain and big bad of the movie. Yet, his presence isn’t really felt until the very end. And even then, he is very underwhelming. I guess I can’t fault the movie too much since it gets so much else right.

I thought Wonder Woman was GREAT 😀 Director Patty Jenkins has finally done what every other DC director since Christopher Nolan could not: create a good superhero movie. Gal Gadot strikes a perfect balance of innocence and strength. The movie mirrors that and isn’t too lighthearted but also isn’t dark and gritty. Diana’s sense of justice and need to do the right thing is the tone we should have seen from Superman in Man of Steel. Hopefully WB and DC will keep Jenkins around because she has been their most successful director yet.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Patty Jenkins – Director
Allan Heinberg – Screenplay / Story
Zach Snyder – Story
Jason Fuchs – Story
Rupert Gregson-Williams – Composer

Gal Gadot – Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Chris Pine – Steve Trevor
Connie Nielsen – Hippolyta
Robin Wright – Antiope
David Thewlis – Sir Patrick
Saïd Taghmaoui – Sameer
Ewen Bremner – Charlie
Eugene Brave Rock – The Chief
Lucy Davis – Etta Candy
Danny Hudson – General Erich Ludendorff
Elena Anaya – Dr. Maru
Lilly Aspell – Young Diana (8)

Trailer Round-Up – 5/8/17

Once Upon a Time in Venice

The Big Sick

Churchill

The Dark Tower

Everything, Everything

Dunkirk trailer #2

2:22

The Hunter’s Prayer

Rough Night red band trailer #2

Absolutely Anything

Wonder Woman trailer #3


Which of these films are you excited to see?

Trailer Round-Up – 3/13/17

The Assignment

All Eyez On Me teaser trailer #2

Geostorm teaser trailer

Rough Night red band trailer

Rough Night international trailer

Fate of the Furious trailer #2

Buster’s Mal Heart teaser trailer

Atomic Blonde red band trailer

Salt and Fire

Leap!

Wonder Woman trailer #2

Baby Driver

Baby Driver international trailer


Which of these films are you excited to see?

Trailer Round-Up – 11/7/16

Life

Life international trailer

All We Had

20th Century Women

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Sing trailer #3

La La Land trailer #2

T2: Trainspotting

Office Christmas Party trailer #2

Wonder Woman

Wilson red band trailer

Run the Tide

Renegades

The LEGO Batman Movie trailer #4


Which of these films are you excited to see?

If you would like to join in on the group post I am putting together at the end of the month, you can find all the information here.