I like to think I was something of a feminist before I had a daughter. Certainly, I was for equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal pay before she was born, but now it's like all of that is in sharp relief. It's shocking to watch films and shows with my daughter and see how often women are either objectified on screen or have nothing more to do than be the love interest.
Together, we’ve become huge fans of superhero movies but it's always been disappointing that the female characters in those movies are constantly relegated to the sidelines. Many others have taken note of this as well as countless folk have tweeted and blogged about Marvel’s female problem.
So I was very excited when I learned they were making a Wonder Woman movie (yes, I know it's a DC movie and not a Marvel one, but we take what we can get). This would be the first big female-led superhero movie in a long time. My daughter took note, too, asking me every day when it was coming out, and begging for Wonder Woman costumes and other paraphenalia. Turns out the movie is really good too. It's not without its problems (especially on the back end where it becomes increasingly like a brooding, explosion-filled Zach Snyder movie) but for the most part, it's smart, exciting, interesting, and a lot of fun.
I don’t always rush out and buy my picks of the week when they come out, but I'll be first in line with Wonder Woman ready to watch it over and over with my daughter.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Big Sick: Black comedy about a young Muslim courting an American girl who becomes deathly sick. Reviews have been very good.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (35th Anniversary Editon): Steven Spielberg’s classic sci-fi adventures turns 40. To celebrate, there are a variety of new editions being released. The biggest of which is a 4K gift set that includes a new transfer, collectible book and a full disk of extras.
Summer Night/Ferdinando and Carolina: Kino Lorber released a couple of Lina Wertmüller films last week and now we’ve got two more.
Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season: TV has now officially taken the Hollywood trend of remaking anything they can mine for nostalgic purposes. The Lethal Weapon franchise seems like an easy one to convert to serialized television as it's basically just a cop show to begin with. This one has Damon Wayons and Clayne Crawford in the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover roles.
Bates Motel: Season Five: I’ve not seen any of this, but five seasons in, I’m really starting to wonder what they are doing with it. Have they turned Norman Bates into a serial killer yet? Is his mother just terrible to him all the time. That’s not quite enough to make me actually watch, but I am curious.
Certain Women (Criterion Collection): Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Laura Dern star in this drama about the intersecting lives of three women in small-town America.
Adventures of Captain Marvel: Made in 1941 and generally considered the first big screen adaptation of a comic book, it stars Tom Tyler as Billy, who unearths an ancient wizard that gives the boy super powers, making him into Captain Marvel. Kino Lorber has given it an HD upgrade.
The Hero: Sam Elliott, Krysten Ritter, Laura Prepon, and Nick Offerman star in this drama about an ailing movie star who comes to terms with his past and mortality.
The Vietnam War: Ken Burns new documentary looks amazing.
The Little Hours: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilley, Molly Shannon, and Fred Armisen star in this raunchy comedy about a trio of nuns who go wild and crazy when a handsome handyman ignites their passions.
Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season: I gave up on this show somewhere in the middle of Season One. It was too dark, too serious. But after seeing its episode in the big "Invasion" crossover with all the other DC superhero shows, I’m ready to give it another shot. It seemed much livelier, much less serious.