Wonder Woman has been banned in Lebanon

(Note: This article is correct at time of writing- 31/05/17)

Wonder Woman has been subject to some of the most pathetic ‘controversies’ I’ve ever had the misfortune to glare at over my morning cornflakes. They include the ‘expected’ controversy over whether or not her costume is too sexy (which according to the director it isn’t.)

To an actual controversy about whether or not the Amazons would have shaved their armpits or not (I told you the ‘controversies’ were pathetic.)

Then the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater received some negative responses for announcing a series of women’s only screenings of the film now, they are taking place after the premier of the film and for charity but I still have mixed feelings on the subject.

But the award for most astonishing and in some ways most pathetic controversy belongs to the country of Lebanon. Which has banned the film completely. Not for moral or ethical reasons or because their still scarred from Suicide Squad and Batman Vs Superman: Dawn. It’s not even really for religious reasons.

Rather it’s because Gal Gadot is an Israeli.
Lebanon, which has been officially at war with Israel for decades, has a law that encourages boycotts of Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having contacts with Israelis.

And this has been a seriously last minute ban- allegedly coming into effect a mere 2 hours before projectors started rolling.

The ban was prompted by a group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel – Lebanon, which pressured the government in Beirut to block the movie. On its Facebook page, the group said it is advocating a ban because Gadot was a soldier in the Israeli army, and has expressed support for Israel’s military policies against the Gaza Strip, a coastal Palestinian territory run by the militant Hamas group.

In a widely shared posting on her Facebook page, Gadot had praised Israel’s military during the Gaza-Israel 2014 war, sending prayers to Israeli soldiers “who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas.”

Even though Lebanon enjoys a greater margin of freedom of expression than other countries in the region, prior censorship remains in place, particularly with content relating to Israel, religion and homosexuality.

Ironcially, the same council that decided to ban Wonder Woman failed to get Batman v Superman: Dawn of Migraines banned in the country. And other Gadot films (like the Fast & Furious installments she starred in and Tom Cruise vehicle Knight & Day) were also shown in the country.

And despite the ban in Lebanon, Wonder Woman is set to open as scheduled during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan across theatres in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait on Thursday. It is scheduled for release June 22 in Oman and June 29 in Bahrain. Although this may change at any time.

Interestingly, In 2013, the Lebanese government heeded a call by the Arab League to ban Lebanese-born filmmaker Ziad Doueiri’s “The Attack” because it was shot in Israel. As a result, the film was “massively pirated across Lebanon where the DVD was prominently showcased and sold in all major pirate DVD stores there,” says the film’s Middle East distributor Gianluca Chakra, head of Dubai-based Front Row Entertainment.

“Did they actually stop people from watching the film? Absolutely not,” he said.

And I figure the same will happen here.

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Triple 9 Review

Cast

Credited cast, sorted by IMDb STARmeter:
Teresa Palmer Teresa Palmer
Kate Winslet Kate Winslet
Irina Vlaslov
Gal Gadot Gal Gadot
Elena
Norman Reedus Norman Reedus
Russel Welch
Aaron Paul Aaron Paul
Gabe Welch
Casey Affleck Casey Affleck
Chris Allen
Woody Harrelson Woody Harrelson
Chiwetel Ejiofor Chiwetel Ejiofor
Terrell Tompkins
Anthony Mackie Anthony Mackie
Marcus Atwood

Plot- A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

Review- ‘Here we go’, thought I settling in to watch this film. No more 12a CGI filled pap, instead, a proper old-school thriller with shades of grey and, it’s got an awesome cast as well!

And when I left the auditorium 115 minutes later…. I was still waiting to see it.

No, seriously, either they forgot to hire a lighting guy or he quit very early on in production I could barely see a damn thing. And when I could see what was happening, either the camera was slightly out of focus, or everyone needed to take a step back as I really had trouble focusing on what was happening. And that’s not including thee mumbled dialogue

Also, about half-way through, I realized that I had no idea who I was supposed to be rooting for. Was it Kate Winslet’s Jewish/Russian Maffia Boss and her attempts to get her husband released/ hold on to her Russian Accent? Or the dirty cops who were trying to… get paid I think. It can’t have been Casey Afflecks character can it? He spent more time being rescued than Princess Peach. And certainly not Woody Harrelson’s permanently drunk, drug taking deus ex machnia?

Oh, and forget about the action packed film you were expecting this film has a hell of a lot of talk, not much planning and very few (adequately shot if unexciting) shootouts. In fact, I noticed quite a few people walking out of my screening.

Although it’s nice to see an old-school hard-boiled thriller, this is hard to watch, with muttered dialogue, unsympathetic characters and a very draggy pace.

My Score- If Nothing Else