Wonder Woman Is Being Graded On A Curve, But I Don’t Mind So Much

As an occasional, reluctant reviewer of new cars, I can appreciate how perspective can be in somewhat short supply when it comes to the latest and greatest of, well, just about anything. The modern media news cycle demands, nay, requires all of us to be prisoners of the moment. Whatever we’ve just experienced is the best ever or the worst ever. I mean, in the year 2017, there are no shortage of people who want to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan, which is a comparison so foolish it requires its own article to discuss. (But, just for giggles, you want to compare a guy who’s about to be 3-5 in the NBA finals against the GOAT? Mmmkay.)

This social condition alone would mean it’s not even slightly surprising that the recently released film, Wonder Woman, starring the indomitable Gal Gadot (most recently of the cinematic masterpiece, Fast and Furious 6) has received nothing short of a virtual standing ovation from every film critic with a laptop and an audience. But there’s something else at work here, a topic so completely toxic and verboten that one can’t even mention it without being shunned, and it’s this: it has become social and professional suicide to apply any element of criticism to a product/idea created by a woman or minority. Thus, Wonder Woman, a movie that not only stars a female character who is, to the frothing delight of critics everywhere, not a MOTHER or a WIFE or even a DAUGHTER but, in fact, a weapon created by a god (it was a male god, but we’ll allow this slight against femininity for now) but is directed by a woman, as well, is completely impervious to any sort of perceived criticism.

Well, I took the fam to see it yesterday, and I’m afraid that I have bad news for y’all: it’s just okay. Let the arrow slinging commence.

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At The Movies: “Whiplash”

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“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.”

Welcome to a brand-new feature here at Riverside Green — At The Movies — and to the movie that prompted me to add said feature. “Whiplash” doesn’t need my recommendation; it has received awards from all quarters. When the African-American Film Critics Association gives a white guy a Best Supporting Actor award, you can pretty much guess that there isn’t much, strictly speaking, to “criticize” about the film in question.

My purpose, therefore, isn’t to discuss “Whiplash” as much as it is to discuss the movie’s core principles and how they relate to my personal opinions regarding creativity and talent. For that reason, what follows shouldn’t be much more of a spoiler than the commonly-available preview.

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