TL;DR This Week In Cinema: Wonder Women Everywhere

Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. It's a fine week to celebrate 50%+ of the human race, with three of this week's five releases leaning on a female lead.

Triggered already? Ah well. There's a film directed to your demographic as well, sir. Coincidentally, it's the one that most resembles hammered shit.

But I digress - it looks like with this leading lady, DC may actually be turning their luck around...



RT: 96% (uncertified)

With every crime that DC Films has committed against its properties in recent years, the fans had all but lost hope. Especially those who sat through the dogpile that was Batman V Superman, which had but one redeeming factor: Gal Gadot chewing up scenery as the legendary Wonder Woman.

So, naturally, we now get the origin story. Hey, at least it's not Bruce Wayne's parents dying again! No, this time a young Amazonian, Diana, is roped into helping the handsome Steve Trevor (the handsome Chris Pine) win the First World War. This is because Wonder Woman, like Captain America, was created during WW2 and depicted battling Axis in the comics; but to do the same here would seem like treading on Marvel's turf. Same Germans, different decade.

And who is director Patty Jenkins when she's not at home? While the last ten years have seen her mostly directing for TV (including Arrested Development), she's best known for the incredible Monster, which best be on your goddamn watchlist lest I smack you. As for this one, there's good and bad reviews, but seemingly more good! Wonder Woman may be the only DC property worth giving a second chance.

tl;dr It's the one spot where Marvel falls behind - they still won't let a lady lead.



RT: 19%

2017 has claimed yet another nostalgia victim as CHiPS syndrome strikes again. They've upped the raunch, the swearing and the violence, but failed to capture anything of the source material from which they took their name. The mark of a truly bad film is when even Dwayne Johnson's legendary charisma can't salvage it.

Baywatch are now apparently an elite division, and lifesaving is low on their priorities list - instead. The Rock fills David Hasselhoff's role as Mitch Buchannon, bossing around disgraced Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron, who has quickly become a seal of disapproval) - their power struggle complicates the arrival of a drug smuggling ring on Baywatch's territory. The Hoff and Pamela Anderson cameo in deeply regrettable fashion; everyone else is eye candy.

The director, Seth Gordon, is best known for Horrible Bosses, but he also EP'd on Pixels which earns him a spot on my blacklist. The writers, Mark Swift and Damian Shannon? They co-wrote Freddy Vs. Jason. How fitting that their entry into studio filmmaking was about two men slaying two franchises at once.

tl;dr Another one bites the dust.



RT: 88%

Man, never read the comments. It's one thing I have to tell and retell myself, and dammit I just never learn. You can imagine the tenor of conversation YouTube would be having around a film called 20th Century Women. Ignore it - this looks fucking great, it has Annette Bening in the lead, and that's an impossible proposition to turn down.

Picture Boyhood, but centred around the three women raising said boy. Bening is Dorothea, manager of a boarding house and single mother to Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann). Struggling to connect with her adolescent son, Dorothea enlists two in her orbit as co-parents - Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a punk artist undergoing cancer treatment, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a worldly young neighbour whose relationship with Jamie is 'complicated'.

It also stars Billy Crudup as a big ol' hippie and is written/directed by Mike Mills of Beginners fame. And if the fact that it has the word "women" in the title is evidence for you that SJW feminazi cucks are taking over Hollywood, then I can only imagination your forced sterilization would be utterly redundant.

tl;dr Bening needs not your approval, YouTube commenters.



RT: 92%

Your mate and mine Stephen Curry is going to a dark, dark place in the film that will forever paint him as 'not just the doofy kid from The Castle'. Here, he is John White, husband to Evelyn (Emma Booth), average suburban everyman, and secret stone-hearted serial killer.

In the summer of 1987, Perth residents John and Evelyn are making use of the summer heat as a pretence to offer lifts to young women, whom they abduct, rape and murder. One such potential victim is Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), who (once 'napped) realises her only chance of survival is to turn the predatory pair against each other.

Writer/director Ben Young has (fingers crossed) avoided the genre pitfalls of Berlin Syndrome's tiresome slog - BRAG reviewer Joe Earp reckons Booth has put in the performance of the year, and he's not alone in that thinking. Either way, no moustache is safe from what is sure to be the most talked about Aussie thriller of the winter.

tl;dr All the nice boys go creepy at some point.



More brutality from South Korea. Do they even make romantic comedies over there? Or is cinema just an outlet for everyone's most violent impulses? If so, your average South Korean must be chill af, cos they have outlets for days.

This "hardboiled pulp fiction Korean Noir" is one of five SK films gracing Cannes this year, and reads like a Korean version of The Departed (itself, somewhat ironically, an American version of Japan's Infernal Affairs). It charts the meeting and eventual alliance of hotheaded Hyun-su Jo (pop star Si-Wan Yim) and criminal veteran Hae-ho Han (Kyung-Gu Sol) in prison. Han's only missing one detail - he doesn't know Jo is an undercover cop.

So, while the critical response implies it may not be an essential viewing experience, it offers a balls-out action/crime thriller experience that proves competent under little scrutiny. Also, plenty of fuel for K-pop fanboy slash fic writers.

[Hilariously, it seems I spoke too soon: this film's director, Sung-hyun Byun, is best known for writing/directing rom-com Whatcha Wearin'?, and The Merciless is his first foray into noir. Gotta love genre-agnostic directors!]

tl;dr Thanks to their fucking aggressive movies, you'll never see your average South Korean do this:


And now for THE VERDICT – maybe you only get to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don’t wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please…

I wish I could take back every premature recommendation I've ever afforded a DC Film; so this time around, Gal Gadot takes a well-earned second place. Hounds Of Love will be the endurance test horror fans are after, but for broader feels and appeals, look no further than those we owe our lives to: 20th Century Women.

Until next week!