Gather your family and friends, classmates and the whole barkadas and spend an entire eventful day as Fox Movies Philippines presents Big Screen - A Holiday Weekend on December 2 and December 3 at the Nuvali Lakeside Grounds in Santa Rosa, Laguna.  

EXPECT INCREDIBLE  happiness and pure Yuletide joy for 2 days with an interactive outdoor movie screening of 4 of your favorite blockbuster movies.  

December 2, Day 1:Rise of the Guardians and Xmen Apocalypse
December 3, Day 2: Home Alone 1 and Batman V Superman

There will also be live performances by 2 popular bands IMAGO and AUTOTELIC, an inflatable play park provided by Slidefestph will also be made available to kids to keep them occupied while parents and adults can busy themselves with the numerous food and shopping bazaar.  There will also be games and lots of activities like the Wacky Obstacle Run - Obstacle Arena Edition.  All of these are all FREE.  

Everything is presented by FOX Movies Phillipines for free. Secure your slots right now by registering at to access the fast lane in the registration area.  Have a grand time and see you there!

Visit Fox Movies Philippines Facebook page for the latest updates:


Fox Movies Big Screen - A Holiday Weekend is hosted by Fox Movies Philippines and Breakout Philippines.

Justice League (2017)

Rated PG-13: For Violence

Running Time: 120 minutes (2 hours)

Genre/s: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero

Released on November 17, 2017 (US Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by DC Films, RatPac Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel and Unusual Films, and Warner Bros. Pictures

"Superman" Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

"Batman" Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

"Wonder Woman" Created by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter

"Justice League" Created by Gardner Fox

Writers: Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, and Joss Whedon

Director: Zack Snyder

  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman
  • Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Kal-El / Superman
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane
  • Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
  • Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash
  • Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman
  • Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg
  • Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
  • Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf

"You can't save the world alone!" The long-awaited team-up of all of your favorite DC superheroes is here! Warner Bros. has been teasing this movie ever since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was released. Does it live up to our expectations of it being a complete game-changer?

The movie court is now in session! Many critics, and even potentially post-production director Joss Whedon, have accused the defendant, the film, of being a somewhat bad flick for various reasons. With our right hands up high, we will judge this piece of cinema without bias. So help us God. Your judges at Dateline Movies are back with another review. This is the case of Dateline v. Justice League!

Also, spoiler alert! Since this movie is out now, you might want to remove your eyes for awhile. I would recommend through CGI, just like how Henry Cavill got his mustache removed for the making of this flick.

What is the movie about?

With the world lacking a Superman, played by Cavill (Red Riding Hood), to keep criminal activities at bay, a threat from the far reaches of space arrives and takes advantage of the situation, to take three cosmic objects of power. He is Steppenwolf, played by Hinds (There Will Be Blood), and he brings with him the reign of Apokolips!

Batman, played by Affleck (Live By Night), unites four other metahumans located all across the globe, hiding from the rest of society. The Amazon warrior Wonder Woman, played by Gadot (The Fast and the Furious Franchise). The Scarlet Speedster known as The Flash, played by Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). The newly-enhanced and all-knowing Cyborg, played by Fisher in his first major movie role. And the Atlantean prince Aquaman, played by Momoa (Game of Thrones).

Together, with the help of the love of Superman's life, Lois Lane, played by Adams (Arrival) and batman's trusted aide and confidante Alfred Pennyworth, played by Irons (Assassin's Creed), they save the world from the threat of Steppenwolf, and bring hope back to Earth!

What we think of the movie?

The Defense:
  • It is actually fun and re-watchable. (An improvement, at least)
Yes, you read that right. A DCEU movie is actually "fun", just like Wonder Woman. It does offer a lot of humorous moments, including The Flash and Batman's exchange about their superpowers, with Batman stating that his power is being rich. It also shows a lot of other corny non-sense that come of as awkward than witty, such as The Flash's comments on the word "brunch" in his race with Superman, in the mid-credits scene. And obviously, there is much more bright colors than your average Christopher Nolan-esque superhero film. But that does not mean that having gags and color will automatically mean "watchable". The film is able to recapture some of the emotional balance from Wonder Woman, knowing when to be funny and hopeful, while also knowing when to be serious and a little bleak. Also, unlike Suicide Squad, almost most of the jokes are actually funny.

  • The cast is almost flawless, and they have an awesome team dynamic!
One of my frequent complaints with the DCEU is that much of the screenplays used prevent the cast from completely delivering the essential versions of the character. This film is no different, but what makes it slightly standout is that the main cast actually gets to make their roles a little memorable. Ezra Miller is the acting highlight for his performance as a comic-inaccurate yet charming Flash. Jason Momoa channels his rowdy yet charismatic persona, and successfully makes Aquaman far from a butt of a lot of sea-centric jokes. Newcomer Ray Fisher makes Cyborg a sympathetic character that takes cues from the best emotionally torn superheroes. And Henry Cavill finally gets to bring the more hopeful version of Superman that we have all been waiting for, as he now smiles, and abstains from being moody. (So I guess dying makes Superman happy?) Gal Gadot continues to inspire as Wonder Woman, and Ben Affleck, although not as strong as he performed in Batman v. Superman, adds some level of depth to the famous dark detective. And together, we have a decent big screen iteration of the Justice League.

  • The movie opens-up a lot of franchise possibilities.
If there is one sin that almost none of the other franchises can resist, then it would have to be the sin of "belated world-building". Both Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad have done this, with both even inserting the current members of the Justice League, regardless of how much it does not fit the context whatsoever. Both Man of Steel and Wonder Woman were able to stand on their own respective two feet, by not making unnecessary set-ups. Justice League is in the former category. However, as plenty as the Easter eggs might be, and how annoying some of them can be, the movie remains to be entertaining from beginning to end. I enjoy how the film teases a large mythical mythology in the making, which spans all across time, and also a war between Atlanteans and Amazons, the coming of the New Gods, and ... hey, are those Green Lanterns? I cannot wait for what else the DCEU has in store.

Awesome post-credits teaser by the way. I am not going to spoil it here, but let us just say that the villains are going to have "a league of their own". A little early for that, is it not?

  • The one, the only Danny Elfman delivers fittingly memorable scores.
I am just going to be brief and say that Danny Elfman, who also scored for Tim Burton's original Batman movies, and other Marvel properties such as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy, and Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, did a fine job in scoring for Justice League. While it lacks the opera-like grandiose nature of Hans Zimmer's work in the first two DCEU movies, Elfman nevertheless made sure that we will get to receive mighty tunes from him, and we surely did.

Additionally, I would like to commend the use of the songs "Everybody Knows", a cover by Sigrid, and "Come Together", a cover by Gark Clark Jr., and Junie XL. For Everybody Knows, the surprisingly somber melody initially sets-up a moody atmosphere, and for awhile, it captures the grave reality that the world is losing hope now that Superman is gone. This film's version of Come Together also deserves merits for its fittingly anthem-like and trailer appropriate style.

  • While mostly generic, the movie offers some great action.
The not-so secret ingredient in making a fun movie is the ability to make good and eye-popping action sequences. Justice League has some of them, even if it takes more than a little too much notes from the many other superhero movies out there. Two of the best include Wonder Woman's battle against Game of Thrones' Roose Bolton, Michael McElhatton (The Foreigner), who is orchestrating a hostage situation, and the rest of the Justice League's eventual battle against a confused and disoriented, rejuvenated Superman. The former just showed how cool Wonder Woman really is by deflecting bullets at unspeakable speed, and the latter shows the team finally developing a sense of unity, all the while coming into terms with their own respective weaknesses, while The Flash hilariously comes to terms with the realization that Superman  can catch-up to his speed. The final battle is just your average alien versus heroes beat 'em up, but its still entertaining in its own right.


The Prosecution:
  • Rushed plot points are less likely to excite you for future movies, and are more likely to irritate you.
Justice League is packed to the brim with subplots that are, for reasons clearly involving a potential spin-off trilogy, included here, and you can bet that it will absolutely have no payoff as the credits start crawling. We did mention awhile ago that Justice League opened-up a lot of intriguing franchise directions, pertaining to the eventual debut of the Green Lantern Corps and the New Gods. We also did mention that some of them pretty much derails the movie.

While The Flash is new to the franchise, at least his story was established properly. Cyborg, and especially Aquaman, on the other hand, have almost nothing going on. We are teased frequently that Cyborg might be undergoing a sinister transformation, but that is never brought-up again. Aquaman went to Atlantis to fight Steppenwolf, only to have arguably the most unnecessary tease yet, when Aquaman talks to Mera, played by Amber Heard (The Rum Diary), about his exile. It was also confusing. Me and Dad had to ask Mom about what the heck is going on during that scene, and while we did understand it, it makes little sense in the context of the story.

Also, why is it that the world is suddenly missing Superman, even after the majority of them clearly expressed their distrust to the hero?

  • A lot of the characters are forgettable and inaccurate to the source material.
Aside from the obviously rushed plot points, Justice League has a lot of characters to develop, and not only do they have to flesh-out the newcomers, they have to expand further on the main characters that none of the previous installments have given justice. (How ironic) 

We are already familiar with Batman and Wonder Woman, ever since their cinematic debuts, but neither of them are particularly interesting here. There is this unresolved subplot that also does not get resolved of Wonder Woman being made the official leader, but that is just about it for her here. Batman is on a redemption crusade, but he feels more like a jaded superhero than one that is determined. Aquaman might have a brash personality, and Cyborg might be battling with his human and machine sides, but that is about it for the both of them. The Flash is also nothing like the Barry Allen incarnation, which I discovered from other Internet users, and sometimes, he just acts like a forced comic relief.

And Steppenwolf? His just nothing more than your run of the mill Loki rip-off, from the generic horned helmet, to the generic alien army, to the generic cube-shaped plot device, to be used for a generic world-dominating plan. I like his voice though, but there is nothing else beyond that. He is the least interesting among all of the characters, and my least favorite superhero movie villain, so far.

The supporting cast members are also wasted here, including Lois Lane, who has not developed from being a romantic interest ever since her debut, and Alfred Pennyworth, who is just kind of there to handle computer duty, sadly.  None of them are made important as they are in the comics. Also, what is the point of adding J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as James Gordon here anyway? You know you can just remove him from the movie, and nothing will change, right?
  • The sins of the past heavily affect the overall movie viewing experience.
The ghosts of failure's past haunts the Justice League. A lot of its more serious moments are almost impossible to be taken seriously due to what had transpired before, especially if you remember the events of Batman v. Superman. Superman's reunion with Lois, and Martha Kent, played by Diane Lane (Trumbo), is supposed to be heartwarming, but from what we have seen from Man of Steel, there is nothing to care about their characters. The movie, at its core, is about Batman trying to redeem himself for his past mistakes, but when you think about it, it is all about a man suddenly becoming best friends with someone who has a mother, who has the same name as his own. 

And look, I get it. You guys are trying to right the wrongs of the movies before, and the best solution is to lighten things up. But I honestly cannot help but feel a little awkward at the film's sudden comedic tone. I am asking for a much more fun movie, but the movie could still take a darker route without sacrificing what I feel makes the DCEU fresh and interesting: its more mature approach. The X-Men Film Series has had its share of ups and downs, and they still maintained a darker and realistic atmosphere all throughout their central films. Deadpool might be comedic, but come on, the difference in tone made sense for the character. Justice League is not like Deadpool.

We can say that Justice League is a victim of past sins, or something made at the wrong time.

  • The unpolished CGI, plus the number of missing scenes, show an unsteady post-production stage.
Finally, we get to the most noticeable flaw in all of the movie. A flaw that is so annoying, you do not even have to be a story-focused movie reviewer for you to be annoyed. The clearly rushed CGI. Not only that, the cutting-out of essential scenes, especially the ones that feature the characters being developed further will make you frustrated a tad bit.

Almost the entire movie is clearly shot in front of a green screen. The backgrounds look like as if they were copied and pasted from Google Images. You can take a look at the Superman battle, and if you look at the Metropolis landscape closely, everything is blurry. The Amazons battle with Steppenwolf might be cool, but a lot of it was CGI-ridden. If you pay close attention, it is like Amber Heard holding her breath underwater while fighting Steppenwolf in Atlantis. Everything in the final battle is decent and all, but let us face it, the CGI is clunky. And let us not forget the one bit that every other blogging site has talked about" Henry Cavill's CGI shave. I do not need to elaborate further on that. Just look at the image above, and tell me that it is not awful. Go on. Look at it. Seriously Paramount Studios, he can grow it back hopefully fast enough for Mission: Impossible 6.

Also, once again, Warner Bros. apparently does not know when to stop meddling, as there are still a lot of key scene removed. I find Cyborg the most lackluster of the entire Justice League, but the scenes featuring his pre-superhero days might have done him a great deal of development, and not just a somewhat emotionless machine.

Now I know why people are asking for a Zack Snyder cut of this film. If ever they are going to release another extended edition, it just shows that Warner Bros.'s modus operandi is used until today. I guess Joss Whedon gave it his best shot, and if the studio is again to blame, I can see why he might be siding with the critics here, especially since he had a rough time with Marvel recently.

The Ruling: Not Guilty!

While Justice League has a long list of glaring setbacks, including a forgettable villain, ugly CGI, and unresolved subplots, it remains as a surprisingly enjoyable superhero team-up with just enough heart to keep you entertained!

And with that, movie court is adjourned! Justice League is still in theaters, so do catch the movie at a cinema near you! Also, do you want to catch-up on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the film is just too confusing for you? The YouTube channel HISHE has you covered, with their dubbed recap. So before you see Justice League, revisit that film, in a much more satirical and comedic light. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

Directed by: George Clooney

Produced by: George Clooney
                        Grant Heslov
                        Joel Silver
                        Teddy Schwarzman

Written by:      Joel Coen
                        Ethan Coen
                        George Clooney
                        Grant Heslov

Starring:        Matt Damon
                       Julianne Moore
                       Noah Jupe
                       Oscar Isaac

Music by:        Alexandre Desplat

Running time: 105 minutes


SUBURBICON is based on the research by Oscar Award winner, George Clooney, from a 1957 documentary film “Crisis in Levittown”, a true story of what happened when William and Daisy Meyers became the first African American family to move in to Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Clooney recalled a script the Academy Award winning, Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, sent to him back in 1999 called “Suburbicon.” It was a comedy/thriller with similar themes to Fargo and Burn After Reading: hapless characters making really bad decisions. Together with the producers, they thought that it seems a good time for a film that feels angry; combining the existing Suburbicon script and setting it in Levittown during the week the Meyer’s moved in.  

Suburbicon tells the story of America’s emerging middle class, in the decade following the Second World War, moving to the suburbs: idyllic, affordable homes in planned communities. For many, the American Dream of owning a home was becoming a reality for the first time.  It is a picture-perfect 1950s suburb where the best and worst of humanity are reflected through the deeds of ordinary people.  But when a home break-in turns deadly, a family must turn to blackmail, revenge, and betrayal in order to survive. 

There’s a great deal of irony and social commentary in the characters’ story. They’re a growing family in search of the American Dream and feel like they’ll be welcome and safe in their new home. Unfortunately, their new neighbors are really disrespectful and sometimes dangerous. Meanwhile, there’s a real problem next door no one is addressing.

Starring the Academy Award winners, Matt Damon, as the model father and husband named Gardner Lodge, and Julianne Moore, who portrays as the wife Rose and the twin sister named Margaret , SUBURBICON also features Oscar Isaac as Bud Coopera, the suspicious insurance inspector, and the young and talented Noah Jupe as Nicky Lodge, Gardner’s son, your average kid in a murderous town.

Exclusively distributed by Solar Pictures, Suburbicon is showing on several moviehouses beginning on the 22nd of November nationwide. For more information, visit solarpicturesPH on facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Wonder Woman (2017)

Rated PG-13: For Some Sensitive Themes and Violence

Running Time: 141 minutes (2 hours and 21 minutes)

Genre/s: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Superhero

Released on June 2, 2017 (US Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, DC Films, Tencent Pictures, Wanda Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel and Unusual Films, and Warner Bros. Pictures

"Wonder Woman" Created By William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter

Writers: Jason Fuchs, Allan Heinberg, and Zack Snyder

Director: Patty Jenkins

  • Gal Gadot as Diana
  • Chris Pine as Steve Trevor
  • Robin Wright as Antiope
  • Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff
  • David Thewlis as Sir Patrick Morgan
  • Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta
  • Elena Anaya as Isabel Maru / Doctor Poison

Wait, a good DC Extended Universe Movie for once? Is this the saving grace that the frequently derailed franchise oh so direly needs? Is it a little too late for salvation, or does our lasso-wielding demigoddess arrive just in time to save the day?

The movie court is now in session! With a new format to keep things distinct from the rest of the crowd, we will now be reviewing films, and even various stage plays and television programs, in the form of a semi-mock court hearing.

The defendant is in trial, which will determine if it is truly a genuinely worthwhile cinematic experience, or just a plain waste of time. The prosecutors have filed various accusations against the defendant, but, with our right hands raised, we will judge the situation in fairness, and will make a just and thorough conclusion, so help us God? Yes, we do. Presiding the trial are your one and only Honors at Dateline Movies, who welcome you to the case of Dateline v. Wonder Woman!

Also, because I am just concerned for your movie-viewing senses, a spoiler alert is in order!


What is the movie about?

Kept far and out of reach from the rest of society by her mother, Hippolyta, played by Nielsen (Gladiator), Diana, played by Gal Gadot (Keeping Up With The Joneses) a powerful Amazonian warrior, desires to experience and see the world outside of her home in Themyscira. Against Hippolyta's orders, Diana's mentor, Antiope, played by Wright (Forrest Gump) trains her, in preparation for something cataclysmic.

One day, Steve Trevor, played by Pine (Hell or High Water), crashes into the isolated island. He bears of a news of the brewing First World War, as well as the two sinister figures orchestrating everything from behind the scenes, General Erich Ludendorff, played by Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and Isabel Maru, or known more as "Doctor Poison", played by Anaya (The Infiltrator).

Determined to bring down the God of War, Ares, Diana must embark on a quest with Steve, with some support from someone named Sir Patrick Morgan, played by Thewlis (Gangster No. 1), to save the world. Diana, however, begins to learn that it takes more than super strength to really be a heroine.

What we think of the movie?

The Defense:

The defendant was initially a movie that I was not entirely anticipating, given the overall track record of the film series. In fact, the character's presence in the ironically best example for a how not to do a crossover movie, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, might have been one of the few high points, but personally, there originally was almost no certainty that the Amazonian legend could even salvage anything. But after watching it, the movie really did aimed higher than your usual franchise's standards.

  • Gal Gadot and Chris Pine's chemistry is unbeatable and undeniable.
Gal Gadot proved to the rest of the world that she really does have the talents to bring such an iconic multimedia legend to full, lively color. Chris Pine, being on his first, and potentially, only appearance in the franchise, has an entire audience who is already more than wholesomely familiar with his charisma. Having the two of these spectacular talents appear together, we are obviously expecting a very powerful on-screen spark, and we did. In a way, their characters are the same, with the difference being that Steve is a human being, while she is an enhanced individual. In the wrong hands, these characters might just be bland. But thanks to Gadot's and Pine's affectionate portrayals of their characters, the movie certainly delivered in having characters that we, the audience, can root for, and relate to.

I also highly praise Gadot for truly embodying what Wonder Woman stands for, love. Her performance here, with assistance from a wider focus on her character, easily solidifies the heroine not strictly only as a definitive symbol of empowerment for women everywhere, but as a wonderful and inspirational cinematic leading character for everyone!

Also, since we are talking about acting, I might as well honorably mention some of the other noteworthy performances, including Saïd Taghmaoui's (G.I.Joe: Rise of Cobra) Sameer, Ewen Bremner's (Trainspotting) Charlie, Robin Wright's Antiope, Connie Nielsen's Hippolyta, and David Thewlis' Patrick Morgan. Director Patty Jenkins deserves a lot of credit for, with her confidently heartfelt direction, made the performances, and the whole movie, more than noteworthy.

  • It is (almost) completely standalone from the rest of the franchise.
What makes this movie more than worthwhile is its complete standalone nature. It is what makes Wonder Woman completely fresh and entertaining. In contrast to all of the previous installments in the DC Extended Universe, most especially the prime example of how not to do a superhero crossover, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, this one does not have any world-building elements. Not much Easter eggs to go, and absolutely no important and shoehorned foreshadowing. Everything is all about Diana and her adventure through a fictionalized version of the First World War. This is one true example of a standalone solo movie in a shared cinematic universe film series

Also, we mentioned "almost" because Batman is referenced at the ending, but that single reference will not, in any way, harm your experience when watching the enjoyable flick. In addition, the film fills-in the plot hole that is the mystery behind Diana's photograph, but again, it will hardly even annoy you. Besides, the latter is one of those times that the Easter egg does not feel forced, and thus makes it cool to be referenced.

Plus, I find it fitting that Diana is not directly mentioned as "Wonder Woman" here. It would feel really forced and unnatural, and it is already better that we see her go through an adventure prior to taking the mantle.

  • It is a fun and inspirational superhero, coming-of-age period piece.
Unlike Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is as dark as the deepest pits of the abyss, and Suicide Squad, which is a poorly executed, over-stylized attempt at cinematic fun, Wonder Woman knows exactly how to make a superhero movie. See Warner Brothers? Not everything has to be brooding or nihilistic in aesthetic style, or overall tone. Sometimes you just have a little bit of sunshine and joy. And no, we do not mean having an endless string of boring and childish gags as a means to make a watchable film about people with superpowers. It has almost everything that makes a superhero movie fun.

It has action. The standout action sequence in the entire flick is obviously the "No Man's Land" (Get it?) battle, where Diana, with her magical shield and bracelets, deflects barrage after barrage of bullets, so as for Steve and the rest of the good guys to liberate a nearby village. I also like Rupert Gregson-Williams' score for this scene. I would also add the introductory "Invasion of Themyscira" among the great battle scenes, but honestly, I do not think that any other action sequence in the movie can top the No Man's Land battle.

It has imagination. The movie claims that the Greek Gods exist, and only Zeus and Hades, who is Zeus' son here, instead of his brother. Hades, the twist main antagonist of the flick who is manipulating things from behind the scenes, is feeding inspiration for ideas in creating weapons of mass destruction. How is that for pure imagination? In addition, all of this is told through a fictional take on the First World War, through the eyes of an initially innocent protagonist, who eventually becomes a wiser version of herself. It is a coming-of-age story, with a superhero twist, and the elements of such story are finely integrated into this film.

It has heart. Basically speaking, it does not feel manufactured or robotic, and it feels more natural and actually inspired. While having a bleak tone does help set a movie of a similar genre apart from the rest of the competition, trying way too hard to be edgy is wrong. I am glad that Wonder Woman decided to embrace the more mythical, and much more uplifting tone that we almost rarely see in features. Okay, the humor part does require some work, and we will go over that later, but the film does turn-out inspiring. The latter claim is shown more clearly by the final battle, where Diana, after witnessing Steve sacrifice himself in order to divert the plane carrying the poisonous gas payload away from innocent lives, remained to love anyway, acknowledging that all you really need is love. Also, Sia and Labrinth's song, "To Be Human", is just awesome, and it really reflects the character of Diana.

With that, the defense rests its case, and it is now time to move on to the prosecution.

The Prosecution:

The defendant does have a lot of factors that prove that it really is deserving of its rave reviews. However, it really is difficult to make a completely perfect movie. One that is flawless from its very foundation, upwards. Wonder Woman still encounters a variety of flaws that mainstream films encounter time and time again. Most notably, the most dreaded things, inescapable things in existence, cliches, which thus brings us to ...

  • "Chosen One" Cliches Aplenty!
... this timely, yet overused trope. I do love the trope of the "Chosen One", so you know. Not only does it add some level of detail to the main character, it also adds some degree of potential thrills. However, as much as I do like having a prophecy of a messianic figure coming to our needs sooner or later, I also do not like the formula being reused over and over again. I would have been okay with Diana being the surprise "Godkiller" of the movie, who is meant to kill Hades in the future, had the movie not point-out the super obvious plot twist at the near start of the movie. Also, I think it would really have helped out if her powers as a "Godkiller" are explained, and not just being mere, randomly chosen powers written at the last minute of post-production. Note that this is just me referring to the fact that I have no concrete idea as to how the "Godkiller" powers work, given that the movie has not given a good explanation about its functions.

And speaking of cliches, even the ones that are not related to the Chosen One arc, there are a lot of other areas of familiarity here and there, including the "God Complex", wherein a literal god believes he is of higher power, and sees all humans as a form of sub-species, the "Disillusioned Warlord", who wants to still bind through his principles, even if they are outdated, and the "Underappreciated Associate", wherein the one who does all of the work does not get any recognition from her superiors.

We have also heard several moviegoers comment that the film has a lot of elements from Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger, given that both main characters fought with shields, in a world war, with the main protagonists fighting a mad general and his weird scientist sidekick trying to push the war further, and has someone named "Steve" dies, or seemingly perishes, while piloting a cargo plane carrying a deadly weapon. The comparisons might make the movie-viewing experience distracting, especially if you are extremely familiar with The First Avenger like the back of your hand. While nearly identical, I would comment that Wonder Woman did its best to distinguish itself by dabbling more into the realm of fantasy, in contrast to science fiction, and by being marginally better than the first movie in the Captain America trilogy. We are sorry, Marvel. While both movies have a quasi-fictional take on historical events, Wonder Woman succeeds by adding the emotional punch that your movie had, only with a much more lasting appeal.

  • There are a lot of exposition-heavy moments.
While the movie does not take its sweet, sweet runtime trying to set-up potential spin-offs, the moments that are dedicated to exposition are committed to construct the world that Diana lives in, from the ground up. Remember, I did say that the ideas used for the Greek Mythology bits are awesome, but the fact that the story, with wonderful painting-style animation that details the tale from Houston Sharp, Igor Sid, Piotr Jablonski, Yuriy Chemezov, Roman Kupriyanov, Eve Ventrue, Max Schulz, Didier Konings, and Raffy Ochoa, is mostly boggled down by narration. Come to think of it, who would tell their children a creation tale as a bedtime story?

Also, the first minutes of the flick, which feature the creation storytelling segment, are all about Diana undergoing rigorous training for the coming battles, and while it does offer as insight on her maturing, it might make viewers bored. These minutes, as well as the pretty funny moments of Diana trying to adjust to her new surroundings, and some heartwarming ones of Diana bearing firsthand witness to the horrors of war, might also destroy some enthusiasm for the epic "No Man's Land" battle, which honestly, takes a lot of time to get to. Fortunately, this problem disappeared once we already get to the aforementioned scene.

  • Two villains are boring, and the big bad is intriguing but generic.
And finally, the two villains of the movie, General Erich Ludendorff and Doctor Poison, are just plain dull. There are instances that the two of them have some parts that are compelling. Ludendorff is fueled with so much patriotism and national pride, plus ambition with a side of a mean case of the god complex, that he is willing to plunge the world into a massive war. Doctor Poison, in contrast, has some complexity, as a person who no longer sees humans as beings worthy of living, and now resorts to creating doomsday devices, but is not appreciated. Unfortunately, the film made it feel like that they are nothing more outside of being unassuming puppets to a much grander scheme. What makes things worse is that they have, in some degree, some strands of Jesse Eisenberg's (The Squid and the Whale) Lex Luthor. Obviously, that is not a good thing, even if Eisenberg's work is something unique. If you do not believe me, just watch that part when Ludendorff and Maru unleashed a chemical agent on a meeting, after a failed attempt at reigniting the war. After joking about leaving a gas mask, even if it will not save any of them, they then laugh in the most cartoonish, and the most awkward, sense possible. What is this? This is not the early 40s, people. If you want to make a decent pair of villains, make them terrifying, not stereotypical.

This is not the case for Ares, however. In a slightly surprising twist, Ares is not Erich Lundendorff, as initially predicted by everyone, including me. Rather, it is Sir Patrick Morgan, who for some reason being the actual God of War, is disguised as a diplomat. As we are fed with the already predictable twist that Diana is the "Godkiller", and not the sword, Ares is shed with some sides of, ironically, humanity within him. His defense for feeding the bad guys with ideas to plunge the world into chaos is that he sees humans as beneath him. Okay, none of that is entirely original, even if his plan is definitely worth noting. Sadly though, the character being completely cliched undermines the many chances that would make him a memorable foe.

The Ruling:

With that, it is time to make a ruling. We used the term "ruling", because the word "verdict" has been used several times already.

Our "ruling" can either pronounce a flick as "not guilty", if the film in question is at least entertaining, or just a masterclass in cinema, or "guilty", if the flaws overshadow a potentially great movie, or basically, bad.

In Conclusion:

The Defense:

The Prosecution:
+          The chemistry of the two leads, and the performances of much of the supporting cast.

-          There are a lot of “Chosen One” cliches, and a lot of the other story elements are all familiar to the bone.

+          The movie does not bother on trying to set-up the larger universe.

-            The first minutes of the flick are slow, and some jokes fail to bring a few laughs.
+          Scenes such as the “No Man’s Land” battle, and the creation story painting sequence, are godsend! (Har-de-har-har)

-            The villains are lame, although at times, they could have been so much more.
+          With Patty Jenkins thankfully at the helm, the film knows how to be fun and thought-provoking, at the same time. Also, it has a unique take on Greek Mythology.

+          “To Be Human” by Sia, and Labrinth, and the scores, are brilliant!

The Ruling:

“Not Guilty!”
For being an entertaining film in its own right, we declare it as “not guilty”, of wasting everyone’s time with another dumpster fire.

Wonder Woman finally gives the DC Extended Universe a flawed but enlightening ray of hope that it desperately needs.

And with that, movie court is adjourned. We will continue to follow this movie review format from here on out, simply because I am getting really tired of the standard format.

Justice League is now out in theaters, and me and my family watched it at a block screening organized by my school's parent-teacher association. We will be following-up a review of that flick as soon as possible. Just a heads-up, despite the critics saying that it is an absolute disappointment, it is actually a fun, yet error-cluttered movie, and it is totally worth the tickets.

Before we officially leave, we will just leave the decent theme song here. We mentioned a lot about it. It is "To Be Human". We just find it really fitting to use as a parting gift, given its clear Wonder Woman-inspired theme. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!