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Batman DC Comics Movies Reviews Superheroes

Wild Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I forgot to mention Wonder Woman in my review. She watches screens and helps set up the next movie. She helps fight and Batman says a terrible joke that makes no sense. Why is she on the poster? She’s not even a character, just a setup.

Batman V Superman, why did I rewatch you? The first time I watched this movie it was a miserable time. I was bored and stupified by what I saw on screen. There was nothing present in the characters of Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, or Lois Lane that I admired from the comics. I’m fine with a movie or television show reworking characters to fit the times. I’m fine with directors placing characters in new and unique narratives that I haven’t seen before; in truth, I admire that in a director; hell, I admire that about Zack Snyder. One positive–other than the perfectly executed warehouse scene–that I can say about both Zack Snyder and Batman v Superman is that at least the movie is different, and the director is trying something different. (One glaring problem the MCU has is that it is too homogenized. At the start of the pandemic, I tried watching every MCU movie back to back and, other than a few, they all formed one big gelatinous movie that looked the same but I may expand more on that in another review) Now that doesn’t mean the movie is good it’s terrible, but at least it doesn’t feel stale. I’m perfectly fine with DC making dramatic, mature movies with a serious tone, but I would prefer if the director partially understood the characters and what they represent.

Batman v Superman opens up where Man of Steel ends, but this time we get to see the destruction from the ground, through the eyes of Bruce Wayne. The opening scene seems to be agreeing with the criticisms the third act Man of Steel received, which is confusing given the fact that Superman is supposed to be a hero in this movie, and in the last movie, he helped destroy a major city possibly killing thousands of people. The opening scene tries to recontextualize the violence and destruction that we witness in Man of Steel but I would argue that this only amplifies the negative parts of the previous movie, as well as making Superman look even worse than he already did. After we witness the destruction porn from Man of Steel the movie jumps 18 months later, skipping through time so we miss important character arcs such as Clark and Lois falling in love, or seeing Clark adjust to his new position at the Daily Planet. I feel like there should be another movie or two placed between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to help build upon every character that we see in the movie. Anyway, back to the plot. Lois is in the desert investigating a radicalized group asking their leader such riveting questions like: “Are you a terrorist?” Also, Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s Best Pal, is introduced in this movie and he gets his face blown off; Zack really respects Superman and his supporting characters so much that he puts a bullet in one of Superman’s best friends 3 minutes after he is introduced. (This review is already too long; I seriously don’t want to rant and rave and hate this movie so much, but holy shit, it’s terrible. Let me try getting back on track.)

I despise this movie. (Well shit, I’m back off the track. Might as well stay there.) I want to be fair and give an accurate fair review but my brain is on fire. Superman murders a man like ten minutes in the movie because he loves Lois Lane and is mad that she is being threatened. That is nothing good about what I just wrote but it happens in the movie. Batman murders nearly everyone he comes across but both he and Superman hate each other because the other murders constantly. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE! Lex Luthor is playing with prequel Palpatine powers and somehow orchestrates future events to line up exactly how he wants. Also, Jesse Eisenberg plays the characters of Lex Luthor like Mark Zuckerberg on cocaine. Batman and Superman suddenly overlook the homicidal tendencies each other have because their mothers have the same first name, and…I can’t do it. I can’t be fair to this movie. I have tried to enjoy this. Many people love and adore Zack Snyder and his takes on these iconic characters and I have tried to see what the appeal is and I can’t…I just can’t. I feel like I have lost a part of my soul watching and reviewing this movie. I’m going to watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League soon–I skipped Joss Whedon’s version–and I hope it is as good as I heard. I keep coming back to Zack Snyder movies for some reason, even though I only like 300…and Dawn of the Dead is alright (I just don’t care about it because Romero’s original is one of my favorite movies)

I’m broken.

Rating 1/5

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Batman Comics Movies Reviews

Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) (Part Two)

We’re back with the second and the final part of our Zack Snyder’s Justice League review. The film is still a mess, but shaping up to be better than the original cut. It’s time to review the final two hours of this four-hour superhero saga. The film, obviously, is directed by Zack Snyder. It is written by Chris Terrio. The film stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman.

As I mentioned in the previous review, the Snyder cut does a tremendous job with the origins of Cyborg. Viewers get to see Victor Stone’s life before the horrific accident that almost killed him. The Mother Box, an alien device, is as connected to Cyborg as the Kryptonian spaceship is to Superman. If it wasn’t for the Mother Box, Cyborg wouldn’t exist. This inclusion into the film is a great addition by Snyder. However, a surprise addition follows.

After the scene where Cyborg explains the background of this particular Mother Box, we get a new sequence where Martha Kent is visiting Lois Lane in Metropolis. The pair chat with the surprise coming after the talk. Martha goes to the hallway after leaving and it’s unveiled that it’s actually the Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix)! General Swanwick (Harry Lennix) from Man of Steel is secretly the Manhunter. He’s there to motivate a depressed Lois Lane to live again in the world. Why? His motivations are unclear.

In the original cut, there’s a scene where the Justice League resurrect Superman from the dead. The scene isn’t executed properly, as the tone is everywhere and the scene is confusing as to how Superman is resurrected. There wasn’t a thorough explanation. This time around, the movie explains better how the Mother Box can bring Superman to life. Also, the tone is better as the League are afraid of the resurrection and are somewhat at odds due to fear. Snyder introduces a new nightmare scene into this sequence. Cyborg gets a vision of what could possibly happen with Superman’s return. It seems that the future could be in peril with Superman’s return to the living.

Snyder shakes up the battle scene where Superman fights the Justice League. In the original version, Joss Whedon made the scene similar to an Avengers’ fight sequence. There’s drama injected with comical quips. Snyder’s version is all drama with peril as Superman is deadly in his return. The scene is smoother, cohesive, and it makes more sense.

The final battle sequence sees many creative changes. Unlike the original cut, the team actually loses briefly. Steppenwolf forms the Unity and the world explodes. For the first time, we get to see The Flash run into the past and rewind time. A huge, creative change that actually works flawlessly. It made the scene more impactful and that it takes the whole team to win. If Snyder gains enough success from this, we may get a sequel. It sets up a potential sequel where the league would fight Darkseid in a dark future.

Although the film’s odd at times, the Snyder cut is a deep improvement. Out of the three films he has directed, this is the best installment. Snyder had plans to do a five-film saga. Hopefully, this film generates enough buzz that Warner Brothers will let him complete his vision. If not, Snyder delivered a passionate project for the fans.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.

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Comics Movies Reviews

Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) (Part One)

Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Chris Terrio.

SPOILERS AHEAD! This is an in-depth review of the Snyder Cut for the Justice League film. Part one will review the first two hours of the movie as the film’s runtime is four hours long. Part two (the last two hours) will be reviewed at a later date. The film stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ezra Miller as The Flash.

The film begins by telling audiences that the movie was shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio. They kept it this way as Zack Snyder wanted this ratio for the film if it was released in IMAX theaters. For those viewers that like the widescreen ratio, they may not appreciate this. The opening scene begins at the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Superman gets impaled by Doomsday, then lets out these epic screams. Screams that send out soundwaves that penetrate pivotal locations of the DC Universe. It’s haunting to see Superman’s scream echo throughout the world. In this same sequence, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is in a pool with no clear indication of what he’s doing. The scene is poorly executed as it’s clear that Eisenberg is in front of a green screen and perhaps the water around him is even digitally animated. It’s unclear if he’s trying to summon Steppenwolf or trying to activate the mother boxes that the Steppenwolf statue possesses.

Snyder introduces black title cards into the film now. He decided to break up the movie in parts. Around ten minutes into the film, the first black screen with a title is introduced. It reads, “Part 1: “Don’t Count On It, Batman.”” For a lengthy film, these title cards may be nifty to prepare viewers as to what’s to come next. It is reminiscent of how Quentin Tarantino introduces parts into his films.

Snyder injects the film with awkward song sequences and singing. It seems as if he’s going for a somber and emotional tone. In the scene where Bruce tries to recruit Arthur Curry/Aquaman to the league, Icelandic villagers sing as Aquaman goes underwater to swim as Bruce leaves the area. It comes off as creepy as one of the villagers sniffs Arthur’s discarded shirt while they sing. I believe the singing is why Bruce left.

Steppenwolf’s armor is more metal this time around. Steppenwolf has metal spikes on his armor that can pop outwards if he so pleases. It’s metal, but not an amazing look. Steppenwolf is sent to the earth to obtain the mother boxes. He seems formidable in his fight sequence with the Amazons. He seems to be trying to win the favor of his boss, Darkseid.

After this battle, we meet Cyborg’s father, Silas Stone. Now what’s interesting about this is that new scenes have been added that introduces a new character to the universe. Silas has a lab assistant by the name of Ryan Choi. Yes, the Ryan Choi that becomes Atom. I found this to be refreshing to see an Asian American superhero get introduced into the DC cinematic universe.

Snyder introduces DeSaad, who works for Darkseid too. DeSaad seems to be a loyal soldier to Darkseid that introduces viewers as to why Steppenwolf is doing this for Darkseid. Steppenwolf betrayed Darkseid’s commands, which led to a falling out. Steppenwolf is trying to regain the favor of his Lord. That’s why he’s trying to conquer the earth.

Snyder loves the slow motion sequences. He crafts an amazing one for when the film explores Barry Allen looking for a job in Central City. Allen walks into a doggie day care late for a job interview. He meets a beautiful female, whose name that we don’t get. While Allen talks to the manager, the female leaves and her car starts crashing into a truck driver who runs a red light. Allen runs so fast that time comes to a standstill. He saves the woman and steals a hot dog wiener that’s in the air from the crash. After Allen saves her, they share an awkward, yet romantic look until Barry gets nervous. He runs away–showing the woman his superspeed ability briefly. As the day care owner catches up in time, she sees Barry with the other dogs and feeding one a wiener. Out of all the slow motion scenes, this one is the most beautifully constructed. The others aren’t as creative or they’re for shots that don’t need it.

In the third part of the film, viewers get more insight into the life of Victor Stone/Cyborg. Cyborg didn’t have much character background in the theatrical cut of the film. The Stones are a fragmented family that Snyder does well conveying. Ray Fisher has incredible chemistry with Joe Morton (Silas Stone/Victor’s father) and Karen Bryson (Elinor Stone/Victor’s mother). The movies does a great job of describing Cyborg’s powers to the ones that are new to him. A thorough breakdown of the inner workings of the artificial intelligence system within Victor.

So, for the first two hours of the film, it’s still messy, but better than the theatrical cut. The tone seems to be more cohesive, though there are weird creative choices made by Snyder. Snyder added depth to areas that needed it and others that didn’t. The most impressive details added were for Cyborg. He got the character development that he needed.

Overall rating for part one: 3/5.

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DC Comics Movies Reviews Superheroes

Man of Steel (2013) Review: A flawed portrayal of an iconic character.

Man of Steel. Released in 2013. Directed by Zack Snyder. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Diane Lane.

Man of Steel, released in 2013 and directed by Zack Snyder, shows us the origins of Kal-El and his emergence as Superman on Earth. I should start by stating that I have a strong bias when it comes to Superman, and this story isn’t my flavor. I grew up with Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, and while not all those are great–see Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace–I feel like Reeve’s first two Superman films capture the spirit and magic of that character that is hard to replicate. I will give credit to Henry Cavill’s performance; Cavill not only looks the part but truly seems to love the character and works hard to embody that character even though the material is weak.

The movie starts off showing the demise of Krypton and what led to their fall. The people of Krypton have not seen natural childbirth in over a century. The citizens are preprogrammed from birth to fit a certain skill set and cannot depart from their programmed setting. Jor-El and Lara have a son Kal-El through natural means and place within him the genetic codex for their species. The villain of the movie, Zod (Michael Shannon), is sent to the Phantom Zone in penis ships, (Kal-El also gets his very own penis ship. There are too many penis-shaped ships in this movie to count) and escapes after the destruction of Krypton. He comes to Earth looking for Kal-El wanting to use the codex to wipe out the human race and rebuild Krypton in the dust. If that was exhausting to read, try watching the movie. One big flaw that this suffers from is that it is all plot and barely story.

I want to like this movie when I sit down and rewatch it, but there are just too many flaws that distract me and either bore me or make me roll my eyes. A few moments I do enjoy include: Superman learning to fly, young Clark Kent saving the kids on the bus (although this is slightly diminished by Jonathan Kent’s words after the fact), and I like the moments when you see Superman stopping Faora (Antje Traue) from destroying a plane and Superman rescuing a person falling out of a crashing helicopter. These moments are not prevalent throughout the movie, instead, we see Superman committing massive amounts of damage and killing people he has claimed that he is trying to protect by not letting Zod get ahold of the codex. The biggest offender of Superman acting out of character is when he breaks Zod’s neck. Now, if Superman were in a situation where millions of lives were in danger then maybe, and only maybe, could I see him taking a life, however; the movie has already established that Superman will destroy buildings bringing them down on innocent people and possibly killing them in order to stop Zod but for some reason, Zod directing his heat vision at four people puts Superman in a situation where he has to kill. I’m sorry I just don’t buy it, and no one telling me I just don’t understand the genius of Zack Snyder will convince me either. I hate to say it but even though I enjoy Henry Cavill as Superman, this is a bad Superman movie. Unfortunately, this movie’s sequel, Batman v Superman, makes this look great in comparison.

Rating 2/5