Two literary adaptations–one 76 years in the making, the other 20–are our two new releases this week.
1. Wonder Woman (Warner Brothers, 4,165 Theaters, 141 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 93% Fresh [205 Reviews]): To say that Warners had to bring their A game with this film would be an understatement. First off, the character is one of the most iconic characters in all literature, loved by people from 7 to 70. She deserves a great film.
Also, while the DC films seem to review-proof, meaning they make money even though the range from meh to awful, you can’t count on that to last forever and since Warners wants a shared universe of films out of its DC characters, it needs good films to guarantee the DCEU’s longevity.
And it needs to be great to counter act the myth that female action film do not sell. The fact that that wives tales is still in existence after The Hunger Games and Lucy is shameful, but if Warners presents the best possible film here, I believe audiences will come and that myth will finally be put to rest.
All signs points to Warner pulling this off. The reviews of the film, including one by our own Rich Drees, have been overwhelmingly positive. Personally, I can’t wait to see it. Keep an eye out for my review later on this weekend.
2. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (DreamWorks/Fox, 3,434 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 82% Fresh [39 Reviews]): It might seem a bit presumptuous to call this film “The First” before it even opens, but then you might not be familiar with the Captain Underpants books. The trailer calls them a worldwide phenomenon, which is not hyperbole to say the least. I’ve had grown adults recommend the series to me over the years, and the series’ 12 volumes, which began with a “First Epic Novel,” have sold millions of copies since it was introduced in 1997.
DreamWorks has been trying to do an adaption of the series since the series began, but it took 14 years for creator Dav Pikey to agree to an adaptation. Early reviews show that DreamWork’s patience might have paid off.
The story involves two students who hypnotize their mean principal into thinking he is a superhero called Captain Underpants. Hilarity ensues as the pair try to keep him from getting himself killed.
Next week’s new releases features Tom Cruise taking on Wonder Woman while facing a centuries-old mummy, while films about a soldier and her dog and a reclusive family man trying to keep his brood free from harm try to chip out some business for themselves.