Snapshots - #31: The Dark Tower, Wonder Woman
What Jake doesn't know is that the mind of a very special child can bring down the tower, and that the Man in Black crosses children, through portals across worlds, to sacrifice their minds, hoping that they fall the tower. The children's mind-beams rattle the tower from time to time, and echo on earth causing earthquakes.
The Man in Black, whose name is Walter (Matthew McConaughey), is a sorcerer who has killed all gunslingers in Mid-World. Only Roland of Eld (Idris Elba), whose guns are forged of the same material as Excalibur, has resisted his mind tricks and that has kept him alive, for now. Jake Chambers is the "full package, the jackpot" for having "the Shine" (off the charts psychic powers). With his "Shine", Jake can locate Walter, but that makes him visible too. He could fall the tower if in sufficient pain or anger, which he is, but Roland now has taken Jake under his wing hoping that Jake will lead him to Walter so he can exact his revenge.
The Dark Tower is, by far, my third favorite movie of the year after The Exception and Wonder Woman. Its cinematography, direction, script—adapted from Stephen King's series—, as well as the editing, are all superb. So is its world building: sorcery and portals through worlds are reminiscent of Doctor Strange, but the comparisons stop there; The Dark Tower is its own movie.
In The Dark Tower there is the eternal fight between good and evil, a strong paranormal element, which I love in books and movies, a balance between the action scenes and the more dramatic elements, a lot of firepower, and performances by the three leading men that easily elevate this production to the level of an artsy film. McConaughey is superb as a baddie: elegant in black and simply cool as a cucumber, while Elba is pure fire (figuratively and literally), with a marshmallow heart that won me over.
It is a pity that this film didn't perform better at the box office because that would have guaranteed a continuation of this series.
Wonder Woman (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Diana (Gal Gadot), princess of the Amazons, has grown up in the mythical island of Themyscira, sheltered away from mankind, its temptations, and danger. Her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Queen of the Amazons, has ensured that Diana doesn't know her true origins despite having allowed her to train with the general of her army, her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright).
When pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes on the beach pursued by men intent on killing him, Diana and the Amazons learn of a great conflagration being fought in the world outside; a war to end all wars. Diana feels that that's what she has trained for all her life: to defeat the god of war, Ares, and restore peace to mankind. She must be allowed to go; her mother, knowing that Diana will never return, reluctantly agrees.
Moreover, while there are talks in London's high circles of an armistice, German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) has other plans. Together with a chemist nicknamed Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), General Ludendorff plans to unleash a weapon so lethal that may change the course of the war.
Diana, Steve, and other three renegades, travel to the site in Belgium, traversing the Western Front, to stop General Ludendorff, Doctor Poison, and their prospective reign of terror.
I'm on my second viewing of Wonder Woman. The first time I saw this movie a month ago I wasn't that impressed, but I think I was under the effects of all the rave reviews and its great performance at the box office and that clouded my judgment somewhat. I knew then I had to give it some time and watch it again because I wanted to review it.
Anyways, Wonder Woman is a perfect movie. From its female director pulling off the amazing feat of putting together this huge superhero production; the lush feel of the story, somewhat reminiscent of the original Thor; the female, very beautiful protagonist with a skimpy costume whose sex appeal attracts male audiences, while the innocence and brainy mythology of the Diana Prince character, added to her kickass attitude, appeal to girls of all ages. In Wonder Woman there is a superhero for all.
The action is credible and spot on, particularly the war scenes that show devastation without carnage. The musical score punctuates the narrative well, from action scenes to the romantic ones. Not for a moment one glances a watch distractedly to guess when the movie might be over. Not even that was left to chance. There was also a delicate balance between the romance and the rest of the story. The romantic element didn't overpower the rest, and humanized the character even more.
Wonder Woman will be a tough act to follow for the DC universe. I hope they take great care to put together all the single pieces that make or break a movie the way the filmmakers did for this production.