Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Davis’

Wonder Woman Film Review: A Movie Worthy of its Heroine

June 2, 2017

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Well it’s finally happened, gang. After decades of watching the boys get movie after movie, we’ve finally got a Wonder Woman solo film. And here’s the good news: It’s really, really good. Great even. Full of heart and action and excitement. It’s far and away the best film from the DC cinematic universe so far and, more importantly, it does Wonder Woman justice and captures the heart of the character well. Let’s dig into it all, first with some spoiler-free general thoughts, and then with full on spoilers after a jump so anyone who hasn’t seen it yet won’t have anything ruined for them.

So gosh, where to start? With Wonder Woman herself, probably. Gal Gadot is pretty much a perfect Wonder Woman. We got to see her for a few minutes in Batman v Superman and she totally stole the show, and now with a show all of her own, she absolutely shines. Gadot captures the heroism and compassion of Wonder Woman so well; she’s fierce when she needs to be, kind when she needs to be, and just has so much heart. She smiles a lot, which is a lovely contrast with the grim darkness that’s dominated other DC movies, and it’s the most earnest and charming smile. It’s Wonder Woman’s smile, really. It’s something that could easily turn corny, but Gadot makes it utterly genuine, sincere, and believable. And while Diana’s got an interesting journey throughout the film, a sort of loss of innocence as she leaves her utopian home and experiences the horrors of war, Gadot does a fantastic job playing this evolution and it’s darker, questioning moments without losing the heart of the character. She’s just so good. I want to see her continue to play Wonder Woman again and again and again.

Holding his own with such a stunning take on Wonder Woman was a tall order for Chris Pine, but his Steve Trevor was excellent. I’m steeped in Wonder Woman comics and very familiar with every incarnation of Steve Trevor, and this was my favourite version of him ever, by a considerable margin. He was written really well; it’s a sidekick/love interest role that keeps the focus squarely on Wonder Woman, and Pine plays it spot on. He’s a tough guy with some skills, but he very quickly realizes he’s no Wonder Woman and is totally okay with that, in part because he’s just kind of in awe of her. Gadot and Pine’s chemistry together is delightful, Pine’s got charm to spare and is also hilarious, and the two of them made for a really winning partnership.

The supporting cast is pretty solid, too. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright do great work as Hippolyta and Antiope, guiding the film well through it’s early scenes with young Diana. Wonder Woman’s crew in Europe are all fun too, but Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy is a total scene stealer. She’s so funny and enjoyable, albeit underused. I could have done with a lot more Etta Candy! The bad guys were suitably evil, as they should be, if somewhat underdeveloped, but such is the case with most superhero films.

In terms of the directing, Patty Jenkins did a remarkable job. While Wonder Woman had a lot of the beats you expect from a superhero movie, it also had its own unique style and tone. The action was especially spectacular; I’ve never seen fighting like that in a superhero movie, particularly some of the amazing acrobatics we got from the Amazons. They were astonishingly good. I also loved the little touches throughout the film, like the gorgeous, sweeping establishing shots we got for Themyscira, London, and the front. There was a real flair to the film that set it apart from other superhero movies. Jenkins also smoothly married the action and stunning visuals with the emotional aspects of the film. All of the humourous, romantic, and quiet reflective moments rang true, and everything flowed together nicely.

It was just fun to look at, too. Themyscira was so epic and cool, uniquely ancient and breathtaking in its scenery. I want to go to there. A lot of the movie was spent in the cramped confines of London or on the front, all of which was nicely done, but there was a good amount of time spent outdoors in lovely, natural settings that were shot exquisitely. On top of the settings, the costumes were quite striking. Wonder Woman wore an updated version of her Batman v Superman outfit, one that actually had colour this time, and it looked fantastic. All of the Amazons got cool costumes, with everyone wearing something a little bit different but yet thematically similar to the each other. The costumes in the outside world were a little bit drab in comparison, of course, but all of the major supporting characters had their own special look that suited them well.

If I wanted to nitpick, there are a few things I would change. For me, the final fight scene wasn’t quite as cool as the earlier ones and got a bit messy with all of the fire and chaos and CGI. Also, some of the supporting characters got outshone by the leads. To be fair, Gadot and Pine were ridiculously good, but a few folks did fall a bit flat. And there were a few changes to the Wonder Woman mythos I didn’t love, but we’ll save that for the spoilers section.

All in all, though, it was a great movie. Well executed on every level, so much fun, and most importantly, true to who Wonder Woman is and what she means to so many fans. I loved it. Now, that being said, I’m not sure that this is the movie they should have made. Setting the film in World War I was a big change that made a lot of elements very different from what we usually get with Wonder Woman, and while it was all done well and a lot of those changes were interesting, I don’t think it was the best showcase for what is great about Wonder Woman. Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent showcase for Wonder Woman, but in an intriguing alternate universe way rather than a relevant, modern way. An origin set in the present day could have been more resonant and more reflective of the character, her past, and what she means, especially in terms of tackling modern women’s issues rather than poking fun at sexist attitudes that are a century past. I get that the film is what it has to be given the existing framework of the DC cinematic universe, and it succeeds triumphantly at that, capturing the heart of the character beautifully. I just think that setting up Wonder Woman as this older, wise superhero who predates Batman and Superman limits her in certain ways, and I’d rather see this young, plucky Wonder Woman dealing with the modern world, rather than the more experienced, somewhat world-weary Wonder Woman we seem to be getting with Batman v Superman, the framing device of Wonder Woman, and what we’ve seen from Justice League thus far. But so long as Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, it’s absolutely a Wonder Woman worth watching, and Patty Jenkins and the whole team did an amazing job making this new setting and backstory work for the character and stay true to who she is.

Let’s move on to some spoilers now, after the jump!

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New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Explores Her Origins

March 13, 2017

A new trailer for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman debuted this weekend, and I’m happy to report that the movie is still looking great. We got a lot of new footage in this one, including a decent amount of time spent on Themyscira, and I really liked a lot of what I saw. Now, of course, this is the DCEU; good trailers don’t necessarily mean good movies. But so far, Wonder Woman has been hitting it out of the park and that has me cautiously optimistic about the film.

Warner Bros. describes the video as the “Origin Trailer” and thus we got a good look at the Amazons. They remain super bad ass and cool, and I like the design of the island and the Amazons themselves a lot. We also get some flashbacks, including a peek at a young Diana who is just adorable:

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I’m hoping we get a few scenes with her because she seems cute and fun.

Little Diana is staring at the “god killer” sword there, and I do remain irked at how much attention the sword is getting. Wonder Woman’s never been a character who wields a sword until very recently; she’s got a golden lasso that she’s rather famed for, and I wish that’s what young Diana was eying rather than a sword. To me, sword fighting just isn’t who the character is. But I was pleased to see the lasso play a key role as the trailer progressed, including this rad takedown:

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Hopefully Wonder Woman’s real weapon gets its due throughout the movie as well.

On top of that lasso scene, we got a bunch of other cool action shots too. I think Wonder Woman is going to have some epic fight scenes. Everything we’ve seen so far looks very cool, and Wonder Woman’s fighting scenes in Batman v Superman were easily the most entertaining part of that movie. All of the action clips we’ve seen thus far in Wonder Woman trailers look exciting and well-shot, and it’s going to be a blast to see the full scenes.

One thing I’m particularly glad to see every trailer has included is humour, and this new one is no exception. Gal Gadot’s fish-out-of-water Diana shtick looks like it should be entertaining, Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor seems good for some wisecracks, and Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy looks like she’s poised to steal the whole show. I liked her trying to dissuade Diana from carrying her sword in public:

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The humour in DCEU movies hasn’t been great, at all, and it’s nice to see some genuinely funny bits  are coming with Wonder Woman.

Finally, the trailer appears to confirm the daughter of Zeus origin story. Hippolyta ominously tells Antiope that Diana “must never know the truth about what she is,” which sounds like it might be a Zeus-related secret given this lightning display later on in the trailer:

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I don’t care for the Zeus origin at all. I much prefer the clay origin, in which no men are involved and Diana’s origins are distinctly female and feminist. Making her a demigod who gets her powers from a man is boring, dumb, and kind of misses the point of the character. I’m hoping it’s not a huge point of focus for the movie, and that Zeus doesn’t come up too much.

So yeah, Wonder Woman looks pretty great. And in ways that seem to be addressing how DC’s other movies have been not at all great, which is encouraging. This could be really cool. And we’re less than three months away now! Can you believe it? Wonder Woman’s finally getting her own movie! And just when we need her the most.

Is Lucy Davis Playing Etta Candy in the Wonder Woman Movie?

February 22, 2016

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie is still filming in England, and some new set photos have a lot of folks speculating on Lucy Davis’ role. The scene they’re shooting appears to be a celebration of Armistice Day, the official end of World War One, and shows Gal Gadot in civilian garb with Lucy Davis in tow, sporting a look that is very reminiscent of Etta Candy. Here are the gals together:

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And a closer look at Davis:

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Davis’ hair is usually long and blonde, so these shorter auburn locks are a big change that’s in keeping with Golden Age Etta Candy, as is her size. Here’s a look at a classic Etta panel, where’s she’s enjoying a picnic with the Holliday Girls:

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So Davis definitely looks the part. We’ve got no confirmation from the studio on who Davis and most of the supporting cast are playing; they’re being pretty tight lipped about which characters will be in Wonder Woman. But that looks a lot like Etta.

Or rather, a specific incarnation of Etta. On the Wonder Woman TV show, Etta was a middle aged secretary who worked for the military alongside Diana Prince. This depiction continued in the Modern Age, though Etta was often more of an active military officer. In the New 52 universe, Etta is now svelte and African American. We’ve had a variety of Ettas over the years, plus Lucy Davis doesn’t quite match the Golden Age Etta she resembles. In the 1940s, Etta was a young American college student, while Davis is a British woman in her 40s. Perhaps the film is making up their own Etta, just as they’re making up a new origin for Wonder Woman by putting her in the 1910s.

If that’s the case, this movie is getting a little weird. Rather than going with any existing origin for Wonder Woman and her supporting cast, the filmmakers seem to be creating an entirely new take on the Wonder Woman mythos. A 5,000 year old Wonder Woman who debuts in World War One with her British pal Etta Candy is not a Wonder Woman that has ever existed before. I realize that most people probably aren’t familiar with the details of Wonder Woman’s origin, but making up a new one seems like an odd plan.

All of the successful recent superhero films have stuck to the characters’ classic origins, by and large. They get updated and tweaked, but they follow the broad strokes of the comics. Again, official details for Wonder Woman are sparse, but it looks like that’s not the case here, and it’s somewhat worrying. I’m concerned that we’ll end up with a Wonder Woman movie that doesn’t actually feel like Wonder Woman.

However, we still know next to nothing about the film apart from a few sparse details and a whole pile of rumours and speculation, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s actually going on. No matter how it works out, we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie and Etta Candy might be in it, and that’s pretty rad. As always, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that they don’t screw it up.

The Wonder Woman Movie Cast Was Just Announced, So Let’s Speculate

November 21, 2015

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Now it’s REALLY official. We got some leaked pictures from the set of Wonder Woman a few days back thanks to Saïd Taghmaoui, but now Warner Bros. has put out the official press release for the film that unveils the cast and the fact that it is now shooting. The press release also came with this new photo of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, shown above. I still really don’t like that tiara, and the whole image is a little gloomy, but who cares? They’re making a Wonder Woman movie!

Let’s run through the announced cast, and speculate on who they’re playing because the press release doesn’t give us much information. They tell us that Chris Pine is playing Steve Trevor, which we all knew anyway, but Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are the only ones attached to characters so far. So it’s time to speculate! First up, Robin Wright:

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Robin Wright is an acclaimed actress best known for The Princess Bride and, more recently, House of Cards. My best guess is that she’s playing the role Nicole Kidman was rumoured for, which was supposedly an Amazon warrior. But since that rumour wasn’t correct, maybe the part is off too. Wright might be playing Queen Hippolyta, or perhaps a goddess, though she could be a fun Circe, too; Circe’s come up in a lot of rumours surrounding the film so far.

Next up, Danny Huston:

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Danny Huston’s been in all sorts of things, including another superhero franchise with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and films like 21 Grams and Children of Men. I’m guessing he’s playing Ares, the role Sean Bean was reportedly up for, though again that rumour didn’t pan out either. This is why I keep saying don’t listen to rumours! I could also see Huston as Zeus. Or maybe a military guy, like Steve Trevor’s boss or something.

Also in the film, David Thewlis:

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It’s Lupin from Harry Potter! Thewlis has also been in films like The Theory of Everything and Kingdom of Heaven. He could make for an interesting Ares, or perhaps a Hermes, depending on how many deities are in play.

Next, Ewen Bremner:

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Bremner’s known for films like Trainspotting and Snowpiercer. He tends to look a bit sketchy, so I could see him in a bad guy role, but since plot details are so tightly under wraps it’s hard to know who might be involved.

And now our favourite photographer, Saïd Taghmaoui:

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Taghmauoi has been in movies like American Hustle and The Kite Runner. Based on the photo he put out, he looks to be playing an old school gentlemanly sort, though I suppose he might be a god in disguise or some such.   A French language interview with Taghmaoui sort of sounds like he’s playing a superhero, but that’s through Google Translate so don’t put a ton of stock in that.

Finally onto another lady, Elena Anaya:

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Anaya is a Spanish actress probably best known to English speaking audiences for her role in Van Helsing. She could be playing Circe, instead of the rumoured Eva Green, yet another scoop that didn’t pan out. She could also be a goddess or an Amazon; given that she’s a slightly exotic choice, I don’t see her as a random American or some such.

And now the last cast member announced, Lucy Davis:

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Davis is a British actress famous for Shaun of the Dead and the original, British version of The Office. She’s quite funny, so perhaps she’s playing a version of Etta Candy, either a distant relative in the past or her current incarnation; the movie is rumoured to cover different time periods. If Wonder Woman spends any time in the UK, perhaps Davis will be a friend of some sort, or she could just be an Amazon. “Amazon” is a fair guess for any woman involved, really.

So that’s all we know so far, casting-wise. A bunch of names of people who will definitely be in the movie, but only speculation about who they may be playing. It’s an interesting cast, with a lot of solid character actors though not many big names. Hopefully more details will come out soon; knowing the characters will give us a bit of an idea about the plot.

Here’s the full press release for Wonder Woman, with all of the cast listed and a lot of behind the scenes folks as well:

BURBANK, Calif.— Principal photography is underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman feature film, the highly anticipated action adventure from director Patty Jenkins (“Monster,” AMC’s “The Killing”), starring Gal Gadot (the “Fast & Furious” movies) in the role of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. The character will make her big screen debut this spring in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but the new film will mark her first time headlining a feature.

The film also stars Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films) as Captain Steve Trevor, Robin Wright (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Netflix’s “House of Cards”), Danny Huston (“Clash of the Titans,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), David Thewlis (the “Harry Potter” films, “The Theory of Everything”), Ewen Bremner (“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “Snowpiercer”), Saïd Taghmaoui (“American Hustle”), Elena Anaya (“The Skin I Live In”) and Lucy Davis (“Shaun of the Dead”).

The film is being produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder, with Richard Suckle, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and Rebecca Roven serving as executive producers.

Joining Jenkins behind the camera are director of photography Matthew Jensen (“Chronicle,” “Fantastic Four,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (“Amélie,” “A Very Long Engagement,” “Pan”), and Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (“Chicago,” “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” “V for Vendetta”), and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Topsy-Turvy”).

Principal photography will take place on location in the UK, France and Italy.

Set to open in 2017, the Wonder Woman feature film is based on characters created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


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