Screening Room: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

The sequel Wonder Woman 1984 opens in some theaters and on HBO on Christmas. My review is at Slant:

Calling Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman 1984 a perfectly acceptable comic-book adventure might sound more negative than intended. But in a time when the genre is more typically given to the kind of world-building that seems primarily committed to spinning off corporate cinematic widgets (Avengers: Endgame, extended Snyder cuts, and the upcoming onslaught of new-universe-spawning Marvel flicks), a standalone story more engaged with its characters than series continuity is almost refreshing…

Here’s the trailer:

Screening Room: ‘Keeping Up With the Joneses’

Wonder Woman and Don Draper aren't sure why they're here, either.
Wonder Woman and Don Draper aren’t sure why they’re here, either.

Don’t you hate it when your humdrum suburban life is upended when a couple fabulously exotic super-spies move in next door? That’s the problem faced by Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher when confronted by their new neighbors Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm.

Keeping Up With the Joneses opens this week, for better or (much, much) worse. My review is at Film Journal International:

A subpar knockoff of the kind of tired action-comedy hybrid that Paul Feig’s suddenly made a career out of, Keeping Up with the Joneses is no Spy. It’s not even Spies Like Us. Like just about every other comedic spy film out there, its plot is just another one of those getting-out-of-your-comfort-zone devices. You know the drill, familiar in everything from True Lies to Date Night: ordinary person or couple gets accidentally mixed up in espionage shenanigans and along the way discovers reservoirs of strength, ingenuity and courage they didn’t realize were there…

Here’s the trailer: