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Miracles of miracles, the folks at Warner Bros. and DC Comics finally have made a fun superhero movie.

Wonder Woman, based on the classic comic book, manages to transcend the gloom and pessimism that infected Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman - mostly because of a deeply felt and star-making performance by Gal Gadot in the title role, assured direction by Patty Jenkins (notably the first woman to direct a superhero movie), and a script with tons of heart and a a kind of nurturing optimism about the human condition. (Also, let's not forget a terrific supporting turn by Chris Pine as Wonder Woman's love interest - he knows his place here, and he embraces it with gusto and self-effacement.)

Wonder Woman is an origin story that takes our heroine from an island paradise populated only by Amazonian women and plunges her into World War I; she leaves her comfort zone because of a commitment to the notion that humankind can be perfected, even if it sometimes must be protected. It isn't an easy transition, and is ripe for both comedy (as when she encounters previously unknown things such as babies, dresses, and ice cream), and tragedy.

I think the reason that Wonder Woman works so well is that its protagonist embraces the notion of being a hero. That's unlike the Batman and Superman of the studio's recent movies, who seem conflicted by the notion of being selfless and heroic; there's so much navel-gazing going on that their movies wear the audience out.

Wonder Woman moves at a terrific pace, never flagging, and is just enormous fun. Maybe, after all, there is light at the end of this particular movie tunnel.




I have a couple of wines to recommend to you this week - the 2015 Alloro Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir, which is delicious and perfect for a warm, summer evening, and Willamette Valley Vineyard's 2014 Brut Grower Series Sparkling Wine, which is spectacular - a little pricey at $55, but worth the investment for a special evening.




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Sláinte!!
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