Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Rating: 12A
Length: 2h 31
Release: 16.12.2020
Dir: Patty Jenkins
About: Wonder Woman navigates the 1980s, meets old friends and faces off against new enemies.

The Good

  • The film gets the 80s aesthetics right. The mall sequence was rather brilliant and not only something that is iconic of the 1980s, but iconic of 80s movies. This part of the film, out of everything, felt most like a homage to the original tv series.
  • Kristen Wiig really impressed me. While meek and goofy Barbra was well within Wiig’s wheelhouse, and reminiscent of her past roles in things like Paul and Ghostbusters, it was the evolution into Cheetah that shows much more depth and range. While she may be known more for her comedy, I definitely want to see her in more serious roles.

The Bad

  • Well, Hans Zimmer most definitely phoned this one in. His soundtrack feels so recycled that if I were to close my eyes at points in this movie, I’d have sworn I’d put on Inception.
  • While we’re on music, you place a film in the 1980s and don’t utilise the amazing catalogue the decade has to offer? Believe me, in a film that gives us Jafar after his final wish and Quantum Leap’s Sam, we need some cheesy 80s electric tunes.
  • The prologue in which we see young Diana back at home and facing off against other Amazonian warriors, is utterly pointless and has no payoff. It, for me, is at odds with the rest of the story. Plus its totally wrong. Diana didn’t cheat. It was a bullshit lesson that had microscopic links to the main plot.

The Ugly

  • You know the Sentence Game? It’s similar to Mad Libs, but there’s no crib sheet. First person writes a sentence based upon a prompt, folds the paper over so you can’t see what’s written and passes it on. This keeps happening until all the prompts are used and then someone reads the mess of a story out. That was this film. Only, I didn’t find it nearly as funny.
  • Steve! What the fuck man. Okay, great we get Chris Pine gracing our screens again. Whoop! At what cost? The sacrifice and loss from the first movie is compromised and, I’ll be honest, how he’s there in the first place feels really cheap. I was also very disappointed “Oh boy” wasn’t uttered. It also pisses me off that the guy whose body gets taken over gets more closure than Wiig’s Barbra. Seriously, what the fuck is it about the 1980s doing Barb dirty. People, What about Barb?
  • Second gripe about Steve. Once Steve is in play, it feels like such a retread of the first film. His reintroduction creates a limitation. It’s boring, its done. It also means that if he ‘dies’ again, I’m not caring. To be fair, this is where Marvel gets it wrong too. When you make your character deaths meaningless (looking at you Loki), I refuse to invest. Also, what the fuck is it with these Wonder Woman films getting the strong female wrong? In the first movie she emasculates. This one she becomes physically dependent on Steve. Blurk!
  • Why was it set in the 1980s if it was going to be sanitised of all the joy the 80s had to offer. Other than Pine’s fish out of water Schtick, it had no value. To me anyway. Yes, I get that there’s the whole plot in which Pascal’s Max is trying to gain ownership of oil, but this is not a commodity that’s exclusive to that decade. For me, the Suez Crisis of the 1950s is what I immediately think of when it comes to ‘historical oil’.

Final Thoughts

There are enough people out there loving this movie for you to make up your own mind, but for me it’s too long, too pointless and left me feeling grumpy. I wish I’d rewatched Chopping Mall(1986) instead.

Artemis Fowl (2020)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 35
Release: 12.6.2020
Director: Kenneth Branagh
About: Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old genius and descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds. He soon finds himself in an epic battle against a race of powerful underground fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.


First Thoughts

This is my Harry Potter. The one literary franchise that I’ve been waiting two decades to see transferred to film. I watched it as soon as it was physically possible. How could I not?!


The Good

  • The visual world building is stunning. Especially when we oh-so-briefing see the fairy world.
  • There’s a wonderful scene between Holly and Artemis that hints at the deep rooted friendship that they develop over the series in the books.
  • There are some brilliant one liners and I cheered loudly at the often used ‘D’arvit’ in the book.

The Bad

  • Most of the problems come from the presentation of the characters. When the original source gives you well developed characters and complex relationships, there’s no excuse for the lacklustre and undeveloped characters presented.
  • The dynamic of Artemis and Butler is wrong. Too wrong as it makes Artemis weak and too wrought with emotion for him to be the closed of genius I’ve spend so much time with.
  • While I love Judy Dench as Root, it removes one of the most empowering storylines for me, and many young women. Holly’s biggest story arc centres around her being the first female LEPrecon officer and how her success or failure would determine future recruitment. Instead we’re given a over zealous youngster. Her spark, spunk and frustration of being the poster girl is all gone and it makes me so sad.
  • I don’t understand Josh Gad’s “I am Batman” narration. It’s a really odd framing for the whole story, especially when it’s pay off doesn’t really work. Actually, forget the Batman impersonation, I just wish they’d scrapped the narration completely. Speaking of Josh Gad, they really did have a wonderful set up for Mulch to ask Root if her first name was Samantha. They squandered it.

The Ugly

  • When Holly Short is described in the books as having hazelnut coloured skin, I’m massively pissed that in 2020 we are still subjected to whitewashed protagonists. Yes, I’m sure we can argue that this film is diverse in its casting, but Holly Short is one of the leads. That shits not cricket.
  • They killed Artemis’ mother! What the fuck man?! You just erased the potential for the franchise to …. wait, this film isn’t getting a sequel let alone a franchise. However, I’m gutted that the twins don’t and won’t exist in the world.

Final Thoughts

As a book adaptation, its an abomination. Eoin Colfer literally couldn’t have written a better film-ready story, but it was stripped of everything. Its almost as if those involved didn’t read the source material. Fans will most definitely feel short changed.