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

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.

First, though, I want to say how pleasant it’s been to see the arts community have to wholeheartedly accept Ms. Gadot as a role-model and champion.

Ms. Gadot is an unashamed Jew and Israeli, having served in the Israeli Defense Force in 2006 after having been crowned Miss Israel. In fact, her film has been banned in Lebanon and Tunisia, where they won’t even call it by name—they simply refer to it as “The Israeli Soldier Film.” Let me be clear about this—Ms. Gadot served during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, and has been openly, brutally critical of Hamas and Hezbollah, calling them “cowards who hide behind women and children.”

So watching the collective left being forced to swallow hard and praise Ms. Gadot without reservation is reason alone to go buy tickets to this movie. Recent interviews with her have been strangely and completely confined to the context of the film, which, in this age of RUSSIA TRUMP is a bit strange, to say the least. Of course, given Mr. Trump’s decidedly pro-Israel stance, and given that she participated in the Miss Universe pageant, it’s possible that Ms. Gadot might have some positive things to say about him and we can’t have that so how about that that dreamy Chris Pine, eh?


But back to the movie. Without giving away too many spoilers, the plot wanders a bit. The entirety of WWI and trench warfare seems to be resolved in about thirty seconds, and the resolution of her quest is bizarre, unsatisfying, and does little to explain any of the events that have taken place in the following ninety years. It suffers from the same over-CGIification that every superhero movie does, and it’s hard to particularly care too much about any of the characters. It’s basically a worse version of Captain America:The First Avenger.

But female director female star down with nationalism yay! Whatevs, man. It’s an okay movie. Nothing great. But if it allowed Ms. Gadot to sign a multi-film contract and gives her a platform for her pro-Israel stance, I’m cool with it.


  1. Haha. Wut.
    Once again, Bark demonstrates his intellectual deficiencies to his Bro. Give it up, mommablogger.

  2. Haven’t seen the film, but I was rather bemused by the handful of obese neckbeards who apparently had nothing better to do with their time other than bitch at Alamo Drafthouse.

    1. If there was a ‘white’s only’ showing or a ‘men only’ showing no one would wonder why people didn’t have anything better to do with their time than bitch about discrimination.

      1. I don’t think a hipster movie theater trolling capesh*t fans and manoshpere types is worth getting riled up over.

        Going into meltdown or condescension mode over trivial crap is bad optics for either side and minimizes the impact of reactions​ when something really does go down.

      1. Irrelevant?

        in this case, Alamo Draft House offered a “women only” screening of this film. One screening. Of a film they show multiple times per day. But a bunch of butt-hurt MRAs decided to scream “no fair!” about it.

        I figure most of them are the type who- back in middle school- would sidle by a table where a handful of girls were talking to each other and crop dust them with an SBD.

        1. The butt hurt crowd has a point. Either you can discriminate or you cannot. What if they had held a men’s only showing of deadpool…

          Trick question! They were ALL men’s showings!

          1. you absolutely can discriminate in this country. you just can’t discriminate against certain people, in certain situations. “Ladies night” at bars and nightclubs are a thing (in certain states,) and women-only gyms are a thing. Why? because they don’t need troglodytes shitting all over them.

          2. It’s a dangerous precedent to say that discrimination is permissible as long as it is in the service of preventing people from being “shit on.”

          3. You’ve obviously never been to a Ladies’ Night. The point of this event isn’t to exclude men, but to attract them.

          4. while “slippery slope” arguments aren’t automatically fallacious, making one requires demonstrating that the slope is actually slippery.

  3. Another formulaic cape movie with even more baggage? Pass.

    The neckbeards really deserve a little credit, and even sympathy. This was their ‘thing’. They created and fostered it for a century and studios have been quick to brush them aside as the billions flood in.

    That said, hubba hubba. I could populate a whole kibbutz with that one.

    1. “The neckbeards really deserve a little credit, and even sympathy. This was their ‘thing’. They created and fostered it for a century and studios have been quick to brush them aside as the billions flood in.”

      Cultural appropriation! Hollywood’s attempts to spread comic book culture to those other than petty, insufferable dorks is a micro-aggression that cannot stand!

    2. Right there with ya on the Kibbutz populating man, have you seen Triple 9? Its good not just ‘cos its got Ms Gadot in it, but also because its the closest a crime film has ever gotten to being as good as Heat.

  4. I didn’t think about all the positive reviews of a IMHO so so movie as a product of the forces you describe, although your take on it is probably more accurate.

    I just figured that the film, even with its continued use of the awful washed out color palate of the DC film universe, was so much better than the DC movies before it that is seems like a masterpiece. It is the other end of the wobble.

  5. Gal Gadot is a “woman of color”. Many SJW will find her performance refreshing. She is gorgeous – easily the second best Israeli woman I’ve seen in my life.

    The film was a visual delight until a few cringe inducing moments were it felt like Weaponized Feminism was literally being forced down my throat.

    I don’t like invincible superheroes at all. I want heroes who aren’t invincible, but survive mainly by being faster, smarter or just better than the opponents. XENA for example has been “Wonder Woman” already.
    Artemesia from 300 as well.

    I’ve also heard the criticism of Hollywood using Israeli stars in pro-Israel positions. I honestly don’t care about the politics. The middle-East is lost and they aren’t going to know any peace there ever. Or at least till we move to the Moon and Mars.

    1. Your comment about middle east being lost talks to ignorance of history. That region of the world is where civilizations and religions come from. So many empires have come and gone. So many wars and clashes that have lasted much longer. The problems between Jews and Arabs pale in comparisons and years of fighting where Europeans did the crusades (about six of them spanning two centuries), and Muslims eventually had the insurrections. Or the centuries of Ottoman rule. Or Alexander the Great invasion. Or the Mongols and Genhis Kahn, I am not even going back to Persian empires, Egyptian empire, Babylonians, … That region of the world will be around and we all will be richer for it. A little reading of history, gives us all context.

      1. “Ignorance of history”.

        I’m not concerned with history because the future is what matters.

        Israel is an immovable object. The Arab neighbors who intend to destroy it are an unstoppable force.

        All they are waiting for is Iran to get the bomb.

      2. The Crusades are a complicated subject (the First Crusade was a mob, generally opposed by the church hierarchy in Rome, that wiped out Jewish communities up and down the Rhine Valley, murdering perhaps 100,000 Jews), but an elemental part was Christian Europe responding to Muslim expansion. See also, Spain.

        1. It’s funny that you mention Spain after your screed implying that we should not benefit from Jews but they should benefit from us. Exactly what was up with those Marranos? Why do Jews keep weaseling their way back into all the nations from which they’ve been expelled throughout history?

  6. To be fair, the all female Ghostbuster’s remake tanked and got terrible reviews… I watched it one rainy morning, the cast has talent, but it fails (just like ghostbusters II) because the first is not going to improved on.
    The hypocrisy is amazing though, I been amazed watching the anti-sharia counter protesters trying to claim condemning sharia is anti human rights…

    1. I think the all-female take on Ghostbusters was easy to rip for the reasons you stated, but even so, the “you go girl” squad was still out in force regarding it.

      New York Times: Our ‘Ghostbusters’ Review: Girls Rule. Women Are Funny. Get Over It.

      Salon: The new “Ghostbusters” delivers: It’s a cheerful exercise in feminist nostalgia — except, wait, is that possible?

      The RogerEbert.com review is quite amusing to read:


      The poor reviewer is very, very sad that the movie isn’t any good.

  7. The best way to make sure that no other nation gets to keep their own nation is to support the Jewish supremacy of Zionism.

      1. Mark seems to be of the cucked talk radio stance that Zionist Occupied Palestine is somehow Our Greatest Ally and in some way good for anyone outside the tribe, despite all evidence being to the contrary.
        Can anyone tell me of America’s problems in the Middle East before the Zionists re-entered the region?

        1. “Can anyone tell me of America’s problems in the Middle East before the Zionists re-entered the region?”

          First Barbary War – 1801.


          “before the Zionists re-entered the region”

          Well, at least you, perhaps unintentionally, acknowledge that the Jews have returned and aren’t alien interlopers.

          The return to Zion has been a part of normative Judaism for 2,600.

          Regarding your original point, that America’s problems in the Middle East are all the fault of those uppity Jews moving to Palestine, some date the start of the modern political Zionist movement to the Chovevei Tzion and Rabbis Mohliver and Kalisher in the 1840s but I believe an argument can be made that the first group of organized “zionists”, were the disciples of R’ Eliyahu Kremer (aka the Vilna Gaon, also a noted mathematician), who made aliyah in the late 18th century. Since that was roughly contemporaneous with the Barabary wars, America’s problems in the Middle East actually do date to the same era as the start of political Zionism, though the Gaon’s students weren’t in the least political.

          Of course, though they were often in the minority, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel for thousands of years. The Gaon’s disciples were welcomed by other Jews who were already living there. There is ample historical record of the flowering of Jewish mysticism in the Holy Land in the 17th century (see: Kabala, Tzfat, Nahum of Gaza), though there is no equivalent historical record of any “Palestinians” at the time.

          1. So one maritime war early in the nation’s history versus how many in the last few decades?
            Oddly the Zionist movement nearly coincides with the origin of quotes about six million Jews risking death.
            “[A]ll they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.”

      1. Is this a response to the article? I’m sure Mark could answer, but one could just listen to Mark Levin or Michael Wiener for a dose of Israel-firstism.

        1. You’re the one with the brainworm.

          In all of my conversations and emails with Mark, the topic of Jews or Israel have never come up. I’ve read most of his published work and I think this is the first time he’s mentioned anything about Israel and only the second reference he’s made to Jews or Judaism, the first of which made clear that he’s not a fan of religious ritual.

          If you want to be a Jew-hater (which puts you in some fairly unsavory company), that’s your right, but at least own your hate. You hate me and want to see my grandchildren dead. I’m cool with that. Jew haters are an existential reality of being a Jew. It’s part of our deal with God and I’m okay with it. Having Jewish grandchildren is a joy that makes dealing with human cloacas such as yourself worth it in the end.

          Here’s the thing, though. If you really want to show what a strong guy you are, how about boycotting anything and everything that’s been developed or invented by Jews or Israelis? You willing to give up your cell phone? Your computer? Polio vaccine? AC electricity in your home?

          1. Tesla was brilliant and undoubtedly had a seminal role in the development of electrical power. To help Westinghouse in his battle with Edison (who promoted DC power) Tesla gave up his patents. Nikola was very, very smart but he was also batshit crazy.

            I was referring to Charles Steinmetz, who, “developed theories for alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States.”


            Even Henry Ford, who had been a longtime Edison employee before his automotive ventures, acknowledged Steinmetz’s contributions. He bought Steimetz’s summer cottage and relocated it to Greenfield Village.

          2. I applaud you not pretending that it is about religion, but about bloodlines, as Steinmetz was never of any faith.
            I definitely prefer this nonreligious ethnic Jew to the ones that did all those other nasty things.

  8. Mark,

    Thanks for posting such a sweet photo.

    Putting a slightly feminist spin on it, though men can light Shabbas candles, it’s a mitzvah that Jewish women have taken upon themselves. Gal’s daughter is the latest link in a chain of many generations of Jewish women who learned the ritual from their mothers. It’s interesting that in general, unlike Jewish males, Jewish females don’t have to cover their heads with a hat or skullcap when praying or otherwise performing ritual but it’s traditional for women to cover their hair when lighting,

    NP: Death Don’t Have No Mercy – Live Dead

    1. You clearly hold the Baruth brothers in alot of contempt. So why do you come here and read the articles and comment? Serious question, not a hint of irony, I actually want to know.
      I read The Guardian and consume other media made by people who don’t share my ‘weltanschaung’ (worldview) but I don’t feel the need to obsessively troll them, so I don’t.

  9. @Arbuckle, I’d never before heard the term “capesh*t” but I shall be using it regularly now.

    Not sure if I’ll go see Wonder Woman but glad it and Gal Gadot have gotten good reviews — there are far worse role models for young girls out there than a Sabra Warrior Princess.

  10. I’m weary of superhero movies. The only one I want to see is Deadpool, and it’s been out for almost a year, the apathy is so strong in this one.

    Bark, I rented a GMC Denali in Denver over the week around Memorial Day and was quite amused reading your NYC experiences after I drove one. Lanekeeping was shut off when I rented it and I activated it for a couple of days driving around the mountains and the western suburbs. I then shut it off (a button to the left of the steering wheel in the dash with a picture of the truck inside lane lines) and kept it off.

    The butt rumbles were funny, but when I decided to change lanes without signaling and the steering wheel fought that action along with the butt rumbles I got too annoyed with it.

    1. “The butt rumbles were funny, but when I decided to change lanes without signaling and the steering wheel fought that action along with the butt rumbles I got too annoyed with it.”

      It’s almost as if the car was telling you – yelling, even – to do the right thing.

      1. I’m sure it was, but since I know how to use my mirrors I know when signaling is just a waste of photons.

        1. Fair enough and godspeed. I guess my comment really only applies to places like where I live, where cars drive fast and we lack the long, straight roads where you can see a mile behind you, making it unthinkable to eschew turn signals (yet many do), even when the road seems empty. Obviously you live in a different type of place and no doubt know what you’re doing.

        2. I too, have never been shocked by a fast car suddenly appearing next to me, nor been that fast car that suddenly appeared next to some ass-clown who doesn’t use his signals.

          1. Well noted. Meanwhile I cannot decide what I find more impressive: a man’s super-human Spidey-senses, or his good sense to conserve precious photons. I, by comparison, putter along with mediocre anticipatory instincts, further hobbled by a sense of humility and consideration for my fellow man that has me engaging my turn signals early and often. Indeed, when I think of all the electricity I’ve squandered to engage said signals, it makes me – and the countless photons I’ve lost – sick to my stomach.

        3. BTW I drove a motorcycle in a south Asian country with my headlight on and many of the locals were helpful enough to let me know I had my lights on. I thought it charming they were concerned that I might burn out the bulb, but being a rich westerner I just left that sumbitch on because I’d rather not get hit.

          1. Well, Danny Boy, I see you just can’t let go. It’s not my fault you live in some sort of urban hell hole of unimaginable high speed traffic appearing out of the ether. Please accept my condolences.

        4. “Well, Danny Boy, I see you just can’t let go. It’s not my fault you live in some sort of urban hell hole of unimaginable high speed traffic appearing out of the ether. Please accept my condolences.”

          @Sobro, none needed but I’m glad you read it that way – no room for your kind in my Lotus Land.

  11. At least with the source material being Wonder Woman, I didnt have to hear the usual rants about a female lead or the film pushing a feminist agenda! 🙂

    Maybe the critics are just happy that there’s finally a good DC film since Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The last three ranged from passable (Man of Steel) to horrendous (Suicide Squad).

    I enjoyed the film for what it was… another comic book origin story. 2008’s Iron Man was still the best of the origin stories, but I dont expect too much depth from summer popcorn flicks.

    I had to roll my eyes though, at the fact that Zack Snyder has to put “300 slo-mo” in every damn film he makes. Let it go, dude.

  12. I haven’t seen the movie yet and I can’t say I was much of a fan of the Wonder Woman comics, but I think I will go see this movie.

    I’m a big fan of Gal Gadot and I think I’d pay to see almost anything with her starring in it.

    1. I eagerly anticipate your third comment on this post. Might I suggest a few more Ls and Os in the next one?

  13. I’m behind the times, but I just saw Mad Max Fury Road, after all the hubub about feminism when it came out, and the beauty of that film was that it was just a film about a lead woman being a hero and not cramming the feminist message down my throat in a ham fisted way. Unlike the modern comic book era where SJW messages have become cringe worthy preachy garbage in the female Thor Comic or otherwise. I doubt Wonder Woman the film will live up to Fury Road, but I guess I’ll find out when I get around to watching it. As far as the Israeli connection (notice I didn’t say Jew), I personally don’t support a lot of what Israel does and don’t think the US should be giving them any money what-so-ever or even be allies with them, especially after the USS Liberty incident, but that’s another topic for another day.

    1. They had to call it “Mad Max” so that movie fans could identify with it as an established franchise. “Furiosa: Fury Road” wouldnt have sold any tickets, even though the movie was great by its own rights.

    2. Nickoo,
      Still not over the USS Liberty? How about the Bataan Death March, or Nazi treatment of POWs, or the razing of the Capitol? Just curious what the statue of limitations is on Nickoo’s Sense of Alliance.

      1. Some folks like to disingenously say that you can’t criticize Israel without being called an anti-Semite.

        In my experience, other than the family members of the crew of the Liberty, every person who brings up the topic has Jews on the brain.

        1. I tend to agree. I know that many who urge divestment from Israel do so with the same tendency that many have used for millennia to scapegoat Jews.

          But that said, I also believe that it is possible to disagree with the hawkish policies of the current government of Israel, and to exert pressure for a more peaceful, democratic approach. All the while remembering Israel’s context: existing in a brutally violent region in which only one country out of dozens is an actual democracy

      2. Anyone that is up on the news knows full well that Israel continues to be a thoroughly unscrupulous and devious nation. I notice that there is no attempt to explain the deadly hostility aimed at the USS Liberty, or for that manner any of the murderousness used to steal land, like the King David Hotel bombing.
        The notion that Israel is properly despised because of their actions never occurs to the Chosenites or their shabbos goyim.

        1. I’m sorry, but it’s hard to take seriously a guy who named himself after a Malaysian furry convention.

  14. I enjoyed reading this article. Any one can look at it and take their own angle, whether politics, feminism, movies, regionalism, religion…

    I like to take the movie angle. Some of these Marvel movies are good, like the one I recently watched on cable, Logan. But the sad truth is “we as audiences” seem to embrace packaged goods. We are less willing to experience different and new concepts. Creativity simply is stifled by $ and cents aspect of movie making, and in America today, majority want easy food, prepackaged same as what we get with frozen already cooked food in our Kroger.

    Making fresh food takes time. Its is an investment. Watching new concepts and thinking is harder than watching 105th iteration of a Marvel concept. I recently watched the movie Founder about McDonald’s beginning as a franchise. Michael Keaton is a fine actor. Yet how much have we read about this brilliant movie about a part of our culture that is an institution. It is such a thought provoking movie about various aspects of American culture, on so many levels, yet gets so little PR. Thank God for internet streaming where one can still see intelligent productions as opposed to what comes across on mainstream theaters and TV.

    1. I watched The Founder over a series of flights a couple of weeks ago, and I genuinely liked it. Keaton portrays Kroc as an incredibly complicated man—you start the movie rooting for him, and by the end, he becomes a villain of sorts. Like you said, I hadn’t read much about it, and probably wouldn’t have watched it had it not been a featured selection on Delta Studio.

    2. How many movies are there about Henry Ford? I think there was a made for TV film with Harrison Ford.

      I don’t know if you can find a dramatic arc in each of their stories, but I’ve always enjoyed reading about inventors like the Wright brothers, Leo Fender, Laurens Hammond and Chessie Cummings. Cummings was fortunate to have been backed by a patron who trusted him so much that he paid for the over 3,000 prototypes that Cummings went through while developing direct injectors for diesel engines.

    3. I saw movie posters for it in the theater and saw it in a theater. Agree that it was a fantastic movie, even with him the montage showing him speaking at a synagogue.

  15. I’ve read a few articles that try to force this movie into a feminist framework. Most require some industrial-strength hand waving to explain how the obvious moneymakers like her costume are actually, like, empowering and stuff. One writer used Wonder Woman to slam the character of Sarah Conner in Terminator for not being feminist enough because her heroism was motivated by maternal instinct, not GYRL POWER! It’s too bad. They did a decent job of making respectable female hero, but that’s lost in all the feminists’ spin doctoring. That a female can be both powerful and hot, or a male both badass and complex, is an impossibility for them.

    1. Sarah Conner in Terminator for not being feminist enough because her heroism was motivated by maternal instinct,

      which is a silly argument, because there’ve been plenty of characters- both men and women- who have moved heaven and earth at least in part to protect their kids. Is “maternal instinct” why Rick Grimes goes through so much to keep Carl alive?

  16. We went and saw it more or less to just see a movie. I thought it was pretty good. Yes, it had some some over the top CGI elements, but I liked the story and it wasn’t over burdened like some. I quite enjoyed the first Captain America, and I would say this was just a hair below that. But I did really enjoy the first Captain America movie. Wonder Woman won’t win any Oscars though.

    In comparison to the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, it wasn’t as good.

    In comparison to Logan, it was middle shelf. Logan was an excellent film. Outstanding. And I say that as a Film, not an action hero movie, where spectacle reigns. Logan stands alone outside of any action hero movie all on its own. Patrick Stewart deserves an Oscar for his performance, IMHO.

    1. I struggle with Logan. I know I’m supposed to like it, and that it’s a well-done film. I just didn’t think it needed to be as long as it was. Also, as the parent of a nine year old boy, the girl slicing heads off of dudes was a bit much for me.

  17. The older I get, the more I find superhero movies, done right, remain immensely enjoyable — provided I accept them for what they are. To try to over-intellectualize them; to wish they were more than a sugary, adolescent diversion, is a fool’s errand.

  18. Bark, it seems like your having a knee jerk reaction to this movie getting extra coverage because of it’s female lead and production team. It’s not hard to understand that ALL movies are graded on a scale, at least a bit. Like someone pointed out, a stinker like Ghostbusters did receive largely negative reviews, whereas this movie did not. I suspect the good reviews are way more because it’s a good movie, and any curve related to the female angle is AT LEAST as attributable to the superhero-movie curve. Personally, I don’t give two shits about either the extra coverage or a slight (if any) curve given to this movie. Let people be pumped about seeing representation they think is missing.

    However, yes, it is amusing how folks (both liberal and conservative) love to conveniently ignore the less-desirable traits of those who represent their agenda.

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