Gal Gadot stars in Wonder Woman. - Image: Contributed

Davis: Early buzz very good for Wonder Woman

Kelowna movie guy Rick Davis talks films in his weekly column

By Rick Davis

Wonder Woman is the fourth movie in the DC Extended Universe following Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. While the DC movies have been a little underwhelming compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they have been box office success and early buzz for Wonder Woman is very good.

What is significant about Wonder Woman is that it is the first summer superhero movie directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins) as well as the first woman to direct a superhero film with a female protagonist. Jenkins is best known for directing Charlize Theron in her Academy Award-winning performance in Monster.

Gal Gadot returns to the title role after being introduced as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman, however this movie is set well before that movie. Set during World War II, Diana, princess of the Amazons and daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, is raised to be a warrior on a sheltered island unknown to the rest of the world. When American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on their shores, he tells them of a massive conflict raging in the rest of the world. Convinced she can help stop the war, she leaves the island to with Trevor to fight alongside him and find her true destiny. Also starring Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and David Thewlis, the story will likely continue set-up for the Justice League movie coming in November.

The plot synopsis for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie says that it is a “raucously subversive comedy for the entire family.” However, not everyone may be immediately sold by the movie’s title, especially if you are not aware of the bestselling children’s book series that is a worldwide sensation. Case-in-point: When I told my wife that this week’s article was going to feature a movie called Captain Underpants, she laughed at the idea of a movie with that title.

The story of this animated movie revolves around two fourth graders named George Beard and Harold Hutchins who create their own comic featuring the character. However, Captain Underpants comes to life when the two boys hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s the enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero. DreamWorks Animation recognized the movie potential of the book series and brought in the voice talents of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll and Jordan Peele to entertain not only the built-in fan base, but also the parents dragged accompanying them.

Opening at Landmark Cinemas Grand 10, I, Daniel Blake was the winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and is described as a gripping, human tale about the impact one man can make. It is the story of Daniel Blake (Dave Johns), a widowed woodworker who’s never owned a computer and lives according to his own common sense moral code. But after a heart attack leaves him unable to work and the state welfare system fails him, the stubbornly self-reliant Daniel must stand up and fight for his dignity, leading a one-man crusade for compassion that will transform the lives of a struggling single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children.