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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice…a review.

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I cannot believe I have not yet reviewed Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The first pairing in live action of the two most iconic Superheroes in the world. There was a ton of expectation riding on this movie. The movie was heavily criticized by the professional pundits and under performed at the box office although it still made the studio money. One of the reasons for this is that the studio did not put out the three hour extended cut of the films into the theater. What was released to the theater was a truncated version of the film that was not very coherent in places. Note to film studio. Leave Zack Snyder alone and let him do his job, he knows what he is doing!

Therefore this review will be of the theatrical cut.

All movies do have their flaws…which is simply another way of saying “I would have done it differently” and although this movie is no exception the Pros greatly out weight any Cons it may have. I really enjoyed this movie so without further delay, the Pros and Cons of this film. Cons won the coin toss so they will go first. 🙂

Cons:

The story, even in the Extended Cut, still has some issues. The scene in the desert where Lois is interviewing a terrorist and then all hell breaks loose, it really isn’t too clear what is happening. One example, Batman brands his criminals and they end up getting killed in jail/prison…but the movie never tells you why they are being killed in jail or the motives for killing them.

Alfred. I think over all Jeremy Irons did a good job but his cynicism got old after a while. Plus, if he thinks Batman was going down the wrong road and becoming something corrupt, then you would think that he would have confronted Bruce long before he did in this movie. It seems Alfred was just as jaded as Batman was in this movie.

Death of Superman. I do understand that his sacrifice was to show the world that he truly is a force for good in the world and that he will use his powers to help and not hurt. However, maybe my objection is more about the elaborate funeral they gave Superman, because it all seems too soon because it really doesn’t feel Superman truly earned the accolades and the grief. In the movie Superman has been around less than two years and there is much controversy surrounding him, he certainly isn’t universally loved.

Death of Clark Kent. This is unprecedented. Sure, they have shown Superman die in the comics and animated movies, but they always have found a way to excuse Clark’s disappearance until Superman returns. This movie paints quite a dilemma where they are acknowledging both Clark and Superman are dead! How can they bring both back without the world knowing Clark Kent is Superman!?

Pros:

Good Story. Despite the story being muddled at times the story is very interesting and engaging. It really is not a story about Batman and Superman fighting, it is a story of redemption for both iconic characters.

Superman’s character arc. I like the idea in this universe where Superman isn’t a Mary Sue Boy-scout where everyone except the villains despise him and don’t trust him. In the real world we would have people truly fear and distrust Superman so I like that realistic approach and  how Superman has to cope with that reality especially in the face of life taking disasters committed to tarnish his name.

Batman’s Character arc. I love how this is an older and cynical and jaded Batman who has gone through many tragedies himself. We see that Robin is dead, Wayne Manor has been burned to the ground and Batman is an outlaw. I loved the scene where we fist see Batman in the room where he just branded the criminal and he is lurking in the shadows. Classic Batman! I also like how Batman comes to once again have faith in humanity restored. The scene where he rescues Martha Kent in the warehouse is the best live action scene of Batman ever put to film.

Special effects. Excellent. I love any time Superman takes flight!! Doomsday is created with such life-likeness! Great eye candy!

Good pacing. Even though the Extended Cut is three hours long the movie flows well without any slow spots at all.

Lex Luthor. I think Jesse Eisenberg was great as Luthor…yes he is Lex Luthor and not the son of Lex as many claim, he was bitter, psychotic and unpredictable.

Wonder Woman. What can I say? She was awesome! Gal Gadot was simply amazing as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince and she stole the show! I also loved the cameo glimpses of Aquaman and The Flash and Cyborg!!

I want to close by speaking of the controversial Martha scene. Sure, it is a bit cheesy but I do understand what they were doing and I think it was a great idea and worked although all it needed maybe was one line of dialogue. That was the moment Batman realized how far he had fallen and that he had become the very thing he had dedicated his life to fighting against. If Batman would have said that to Lois and Superman in some verbal way, I think it would have helped.

I really enjoyed this movie despite some of its flaws. All-in-all a good introduction of Batman in the DCEU and I look forward to more movies with these characters!

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

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One of the things I enjoy about such superheros like Superman, Batman & The Flash (my favorites in that order) is how unique they are. Superman is invulnerable, impervious to pain, can fly and run near at or better than the speed of light, has ex-ray and heat vision, super hearing…Batman is a human with no superpowers but an intellectual genius billionaire who has mastered several martial arts, has access to and developed many advanced gadgets, dresses up in a Bat-costume and fades into the night to scare and terrorize criminals. The Flash can run, move, think, and react at light speeds as well as having superhuman endurance that allows them to run incredible distances. Some, notably later versions, can vibrate so fast that they can pass through walls in a process called quantum tunneling, travel through time and can also lend and borrow speed. The Flash can heal more rapidly than an average human.

So what does DC Comics do with these unique characters? It creates a “Family” of similar superheroes with similar powers and abilities. Superman has Supergirl, Superboy, Krypto, Powergirl, Mon-El, Val-Zod Red Superman, Blue Superman, Asian Superman and Russian Superman etc. The Batman has many Robins, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, The Red Hood, Batman Beyond etc. The Flash has Jay Garrick (the earliest incarnation of the character), Barry Allen as The Flash, Wally West is the first Kid Flash and the third Flash, Bart Allen the second hero known as Kid Flash..and many more. Even Flash’s villains are just evil personifications of the Flash, such as Reverse Flash, Zoom and Doom etc..There are also many versions of the Green Lantern that originated from earth…Alan Scott, Hal Jordan,  Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.

My complaint is that with so many Superheros with the same name or powers within these families it waters down and dilutes the original characters and turning what was a special and unique character into something more ordinary. I am conflicted about this because there are actually some of these extra characters I love (Supergirl, Val-Zod, Jay Garrick, Reverse Flash, John Stewart). I even plan on doing a blog post dedicated to Val-Zod in thew future….Plus, as an artist and creative person myself, I certainly do not want to stifle creativity…

I just cannot also ignore this nagging feeling that all of these similar characters take something away from the original characters. I stopped watching the Flash TV series because of this problem. Not only does he have a team helping him but the majority of the villains are just like him to the point where The Flash himself doesn’t stand out, isn’t the star of his own show and is simply one of many with the same powers. I think Supergirl suffers from this a bit also.

This was just a little venting and I don’t really want or expect anything to be done, it just explains why I gravitate to stories that depict the original character rather than these many similar extensions in these superhero families.

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Comic Con 2013 recap. Part I

I didn’t go to Comic-Con but this is some of the big news that was reported this past weekend in San Diego.

1. The sequel to the Man of Steel looks to be a Superman & Batman movie. The movie is set for 2015 which pushes a Justice league movie back to 2017 and in 2016 we will finally get a long waited The Flash movie!!!!!! What I know so far is that  Zack Snyder will direct, David S. Goyer will write the screenplay, Henry Cavill will return as Superman, and Christian Bale is unlikely to return as Batman. I am a bit disappointed that they are not doing another solo Superman movie before they team him up with Batman. Man of Steel just established Superman, or reestablished him, I should say, and I would like at least one more outing with him on his own. But I am open to a Superman and Batman movie, I just hope they cast someone good in the role of Batman.

2. As I type this I am a bit disappointed that the Godzilla panel was a bit of a let down. The design for the new Godzilla was not revealed and they did show a new teaser trailer. In an interview with director Garret Edwards from Friday evening we learned that Godzilla will be the tallest ever seen and he will have the atomic breath. Edwards also reported that the story is very emotional and some scenes left many in tears while it was being filmed.

Here is a description of the teaser trailer:

Godzilla trailer description!

This is from Quint at AICN:

There was the typical sizzle reel thing of having a lot of out of context images flashing at you… Bryan Cranston in some kind of radioactive suit and looking worried, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in full soldier gear pointing his rifle at something, a soldier running down a fiery street, Ken Watanabe looking on in awe of something, a quick reunion shot in a Katrina-esque stadium refugee zone with a kid and Elizabeth Olsen, people running around in a government installation… that kind of thing. Chaos.

Then it cuts to black for a bit, just to draw out the tension, then we see our first glimpse of a monster. Notice I said “a monster” not “the monster.” We get a tall Kaiju that looks a bit like the Cloverfield monster in terms of it kind of having thin appendages and flat-ish face. It’s destroying shit and we see it prominently featured at an airport. It towers over parked planes as jets and attack choppers shoot mercilessly at the beast.

One chopper gets too close and is swatted down. All that follows is shown in one shot through the large plate glass windows from inside the airport as if a POV shot of a witness… The chopper is hit and it spins as it crashes to the ground near a parked plane. Upon impact the chopper explodes which starts off a chain reaction as one plane after another gets caught up in the rolling fireball that gets bigger and bigger with each successive explosion.

The camera pans, following the destruction and as the final plane explodes, Godzilla’s massive thick tree trunk of a foot comes down right in the middle of the fireball of the last exploding plane. Cut to black again as the audience cheers like mad.

Then an image fades up of the other Kaiju aggressively moving with in the smoke and wreckage of the airport, not seeing Godzilla raise up behind it. As big as the first monster looked when destroying everything you realize that it barely comes up to Godzilla’s midriff as the King of Monsters stands straight up behind it. Godzilla roars and that’s it.

3.  Another movie by Legendary pictures was also revealed on Saturday. There is going to be a World of Warcraft movie. I do not play the game but I have seen some people play that game and others similar to it. It looks like it could be a lot of fun.

I will gather up more info and recap Comic-Con 2013 on Wed and Friday! Stay tuned!

Man of Steel and Justice League? …and Some Star Trek too! And GODZILLA news!!!

http://screencrush.com/justice-league-superman-man-of-steel/

With the new trailer for the Man of Steel about to be deliverd next month and with the Justice League movie in the development phase roumours are flying around the internet. Will Henry Cavill and the Man of Steel movie be connected to the  Justice League movie? Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt Play Batman in Justice League? Can Christian Bale be persuaded to don the Bat-Cowl for the Justice League movie? So many unanswered questions!

I have some ambilance about some of the questions. I actually wouldn’t mind either way if Christian Bale were to play Batman in this new movie. I think he did an excellent job playing the Caped Crusader even though I was not completely happy with the tone established in the movies. I wopuldn’t mind if Warner Brothers casts someone else to play Batman/Bruce Wayne. I do have a hard time seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role though. He seems too small and too thin in my opinion. I do however, want to see Henry Cavill as Superman in the Justice Leauge movie. He just screams Superman to me. Even though I have not seen him as Superman I have seen him in the trailer and othe rroles and I think he will be the best Superman since Christopher Reeves. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Ryan Reynolds return as the Green Lantern in the Justice Leauge movie. I thought he did a fine job in the role and I think the movie was not as bad as the critics claimed.

I think other than those two movies, I would rather have the Justice League movie be a starting point for other solo movies such as more Batman, Green Lanter and new Wonder Woman and The Flash. Warner Brothers does not have to follow the exact path laid out by Marvel. I do think it woukld be hard to have a trilogy of Superman movies (Man of Steel is supposed to be the first of three Superman movies) while another actor was playing Superman in the Justice League movie. It would open the door to critcism and comparison. You know how people like to compare and critisize things! Also, there are many fans of such movies that do like their continuity so having both Cavil and Reynolds…and maybe even Bale..reprise their roles would give the fans some continuity.

2015 is far away and many things can happen by then. I will keep the speculations alive and as news becomes available you will find it here!

This is also new! Here is the approved synopsis for the new Star Trek movie!

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS – Approved Synopsis 11/26/12

In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.

 When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

This sounds good…Very Good!

GODZILLA NEWS!!!

It is being reported that the script for the movie is completed and that filming begins in March of next year!! I have not heard much as far as casting goes!!

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/monstroushotzone/news/?a=70454

One more…The Trailer for Pacific Rim is due in Decemer also and the viral marketing for that movie is stepping up.

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=97464&utm_campaign=facebookfan&utm_source=facebookfan&utm_medium=referral

What’s in the Hopper this week?

A few of interesting movies are in various stages of development.

1. Justice League. With the Avengers movie bringing in bucket loads of cash the executives at Warner Brothers, the studio that holds the movie rights to the DC characters, are scampering to put together a Justice League movie. This movie has been stuck in development hell for a while. In 2008 the movie was in production but due to an overblown budget and script rewrites that could not be done due to a writer’s strike the production was halted.

It seems that Warner Brothers is once again going ahead with a Justice League movie and has hired Will Beall to write the script. Warner Brothers is also taking an opposite approach to the movie than Marvel Studios did with their Avenger Movies. Marvel launched most of these characters in solo movies prior to bringing them together in the Avengers film. There was a thread running through each of these movies that culminated in the Avengers movie.

With the DC characters we have already had a Green Lantern movie that did not perform as well as expected (although I liked it) and with the Nolan Batman series coming to an end and the Man of Steel around the corner Warner Brothers is looking for a Justice League movie to launch these characters into their own solo movies such as the Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Although I doubt very much that Christian Bale would don the Bat Cowl for a Justice League movie and it remains to be seen if Henry Cavill will reprise Superman for this movie once the Man of Steel is out, I am happy to hear that this movie is moving forward once again.

2. Hollywood is preparing to go all Old Testament on you. Aronofsky’s Noah has been in production Purgatory since 2008 but in March Russell Crowe (who will be playing Jor-El in the Man of Steel) has been cast as Noah and Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth have been cast to play two of Noah’s sons. It would be interesting to see the Ark and the Flood depicted on the big screen.

There is possibly two movies on the life of Moses that will be coming to your local theaters. Steven Spielberg is already engulfed in pre-production work on Gods and Kings, and hopefully will bring us a sweeping and epic tale of the law giver. It was reported this week that Ridley Scott (his movie Prometheus a prequel to his Alien movie is in theaters tomorrow) is saying that his idea for a movie about the life of Moses is definitely going to come to pass. However, from what I understand is Scott will often take up a project on a whim and then just as quickly place it back upon the shelf. So it remains to be seen if his Moses picture will ever be made. I am very interested in Spielberg’s take on the story. He is a master story teller.