Just like Marvel Studios’ Netflix Presentation, DC Entertainment didn’t just bring a trailer for their next movie, Suicide Squad, to San Diego Comic Con, they also brought a teaser and poster for their movie after that, Wonder Woman… AND even a trailer and official image for their own super team team up film, Justice League! The Justice League trailer, unlike Netflix’s The Defenders Series “teaser,” actually has new footage… a lot of it!
There’s defiantly one theme I’ve noticed with all the trailers; each movie going forward is beginning to feel a lot more like Marvel than previous DCEU films, Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.Let’s build up to the most exciting trailer shall we? (Justice League, duh!). So we’ll start with Suicide Squad, a movie for which we have many trailers already, though the new one still offers quite a bit of new footage. While not going as far as the Batman V Superman trailer that spoiled Doomsday, the villain is revealed more than before in this latest trailer, and there are a lot of new scenes that will wet your appetite. If you are already at footage overload, don’t feel too bad about skipping the San Diego Comic Con 2016 Suicide Squad trailer. The film may feel fresher on August 5th without it.
New action, extended dialog scenes among the Squad with an emphasis on Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) as well, and more Joker (Jared Leto) and Batman (Ben Affleck). Still a winning combination, though the music is the least inspired of the many trailers.
Up next we have the Poster AND first Teaser Trailer for 2017’s Wonder Woman! That’s the poster, obviously. Now here comes the trailer:
Wonder Woman looks like an interesting mix of Thor, a Jane Austin novel, Captain America: The First Avenger, and a Zack Snyder movie, even though it is being directed by Patty Jenkins. The Amazon scenes and costumes remind me of Thor‘s Asgard. The costumes and non-action scenes remind me of romance films based on Victorian era novels. The World War I elements are painfully First Avenger-esque, especially the emphasis on Wonder Woman’s shield. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) uses her shield to dispatch a German Solider just like Cap, in a scene involving extreme slow motion action which gives it that Zack Snyder feel, as well as the muted colors in the overall tone of it’s look.
It’s slightly baffling why DC would use their chance to introduce Wonder Woman to make a film that looks so close to Captain America: The First Avenger; both being a World War period piece with a superhuman brandishing a round Shield.Wonder Woman does also get her trademark Lasso, but there’s no invisible jet! (Thank god for that). Chris Pine as Steve Trevor does bring more humor than in either BvS or the Suicide Squad trailer, especially compared to the continued stoic take on Wonder Woman herself. This lightness really does gives the trailer more of a Marvel feel than what DC has given us thus far. Which brings us to the most Marvel-y trailer of all, the 1st teaser for Justice League! The trailer focuses on Batman recruiting the Justice League as Bruce Wayne, always out of the suit, which is a very interesting choice. In fact, because Justice League is still being shot, we’re treated almost entirely to recruitment scenes without costumes or special effects, but it still looks great, despite being handled by Zack Snyder who ruined Batman V Superman.
Though you may recognize them all, the heroes featured above are Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), Cyborg/ Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa). All appear in the trailer, except Superman, who most be “dead” during recruitment but will obviously return based on the above photo… and the fact that you can’t have the Justice League without Superman (but you can do it without Green Lantern, who has been a member forever)!
Justice League looks surprisingly good thus far, with even more humor than Wonder Woman or Suicide Squad, most of it coming from the Dark Knight himself, traditionally the least jokey character in comics (his nemesis makes up for his lack of humor). I like how the teaser plays with the difficulty of recruiting some, like Aquaman, while others like Barry Allen jump at the chance to join up because he needs friends… and is blown away he is actually meeting Batman! Again, it feels a lot like The Avengers, as it should, with great humor and hints at team dynamics that will likely include a little bit of friction/in-fighting at the beginning.
San Diego Comic Con 2016 is the gift that keeps on giving, worrying me a little with Wonder Woman, but restoring good will towards Justice League.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a good time to be a Geek!
Best: Artistic Take on the Wayne MurderMy initial review was glowing when it came to the style in which Director Zack Snyder filmed the Wayne Murder. I don’t want to rehash my review too much, so let’s keep this brief.
The Wayne Murder has never been presented in such a visually stunning manner, from choices like breaking Martha Wayne’s Pearl Necklace with the hammer of the gun, to the overall color/look of the scene. And featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian in Snyder’s Watchmen) playing Thomas Wayne… well, that’s a slam dunk!
… if you have to show the damn scene again…
Worst: The Wayne Murder Happens Again… Again… AgainThe problem is that this scene never needed to be in the movie! We all know Jesus died on the Cross, Peter Parker let Uncle Ben get shot (basically), and Thomas and Martha Wayne died in Crime Alley following a showing of The Mark of Zorro.
And we don’t just see the scene at the beginning of BvS, oh no! Snyder cuts back to the retread of a retread of a retread of the scene later in the film to drive home a point (“Martha…”).
Warner Brothers, please don’t show us the death of the Lego Waynes in next year’s The Lego Batman Movie!
Best:Batman Superman (Finally) FightThe title promises one thing; Batman (Ben Affleck) will fight Superman (Henry Cavill), as ridiculous a premise as that sounds (A Man Vs a “God?”… okay… maybe the trailers and have covered that issue already).
Surprisingly, in a movie called Batman V Superman, the title players only physically fight once… and it’s not until the 3 rd act. While it was wise to save the climatic fight for what should have been the end of the movie (more on that later), I’m surprised there wasn’t a 2nd, less climatic clash earlier in the movie like every other superhero movie (likely even Captain America: Civil War). There was Batman’s “Knightmare” which doesn’t count because it was a dream(vision?) with Batman only fighting Superman’s Soldiers… before Superman ripped out his heart. The only other in costume encounter was the stern warning from Superman to Batman not to go to the Bat Signal when it was next turned on. The two heroes didn’t fight in that scene either. Sure, Superman crashed the Batmobile, but he did it by just standing there…By the time we do get to the long awaited fight it is as glorious as the trailer teased. In fact, it’s one of the more wonderful scenes in an otherwise surprisingly action-lite two and a half hour film. The visuals are still astounding (that Frank Miller inspired “Iron” Batsuit sure looks pretty in the rain) and the strategies The Dark Knight employs against The Man of Steel are entertaining; making you believe Batman really could beat Superman as a brilliant strategist… and with some weaponized Kryptonite gas… and spear!
It’s an extremely entertaining scene from the moment Superman lands to the final moment: “Martha.”
Worst: Why Batman and Superman FightBatman and Superman fighting over ideologies is enough! Writers Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio go overboard with unnecessary pressure pushing DC’s two biggest characters to brawl.
Bruce Wayne doesn’t trust Superman because the latter is all powerful. Clark Kent does not approve of the (murderous) Batman’s methods and “reign of terror.” Superman even warns Batman midway through the film that next time the Bat Signal is turned on he should stay home. So, when Batman prepares for battle and shines the Bat Signal in the sky to attract Superman’s attention, that should be enough!
Why does Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) have to kidnap Martha Kent and order Superman to kill the Bat?
Answer: He doesn’t. But none of Luthor’s plans make sense in Batman V Superman. His characters complete lack of logic is one of the most frustrating parts of the film.
Best: Battle of Metropolis I (Zod)Everyone’s least favorite part about Man of Steel has become my favorite scene in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. I also covered this scene in my initial review, so I will again be brief.
For the first time ever, we’re given Bruce Wayne: True Action Hero. He drives a Jeep between collapsing buildings, witnesses Wayne Finances collapse with his “family” inside, and runs into the 9/11-esque all-encompassing ash to help the surviving victims.
The destruction is on a whole new scale from Bruce Wayne’s point of view, both in the amount of destruction we witness and the bigger focus on loss of life. It’s really cool to see odd Spaceships without needing any sort of exposition as to why they are there and what each one does; Man of Steel covered that. Most importantly, this event is all Bruce Wayne really needed to decide to declare war on Superman.
Worst: Battle of Metropolis II (Doomsday)Just as boring and overblown as the Battle of Metropolis was at the end of Man of Steel (not to be confused with the Bruce Wayne’s POV version in BvS), the finale to Batman V Superman is so bad it is mostly responsible for making what could have been a great Batman film into a measly 6 out of 10.
Everything is wrong with this scene. Even the visuals take a massive dip from what is otherwise a beautiful film. Really, the movie is a 0 out of 10 following the actual fight between Batman and Superman, with the notable exception of the amazing Bat Combat we see in the Warehouse scene when Batman rescues Martha Kent.
Doomsday looks like an Orc. The landscape is simply fire… burning rubble everywhere with no discernible landmarks. Yet we’re assured multiple times by cutaways to the military that everywhere Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) fight Doomsday is uninhabited; a severe overreaction to the destructive finale of Man of Steel.Gone is the “realism” (as much as could be expected at least) present in Batman and Superman’s fight and other action scenes. Instead, we have characters like Wonder Woman launching themselves across the battlefield (it’s hard to tell how far when everything is on fire…) in what looks like a video game… or a half-assed scene tacked on an otherwise polished movie.
One of the scene’s biggest crimes? Not giving Batman anything to do but distract Doomsday and run, unlike the Avengers films which give even mortals like Hawkeye and Black Widow something to contribute. Sure, there’s the obligatory final moment when all three heroes must work in unison to kill Doomsday, not unlike the first Fantastic Four film (a comparison you do not want). Wonder Woman on the lasso, Superman with the Kryptonite Spear, and Batman’s last Kryptonite Gas bomb! VICTORY (Sort of…)
Awful final fight. Really ruins an otherwise decent film.
I can write about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice for days. And I just might do so!
While I didn’t hate Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, I didn’t exactly love it, giving it a measly 6 out of 10 in my review (which is more generous than most). I did, however, love elements of the film, so I thought I’d cover the best of BvS, countering with the film’s worst elements for a nice and balanced 2nd look at the film.
Warning!Unlike my review, this post will contain SPOILERS!
In this edition I’ll cover the cast, from the title characters down to Alfred Pennyworth and other supporting characters.
Best: Batffleck & Bruce WayneWhile every review for Batman V Superman loves Gal Gadot’s take on Wonder Woman, nearly as many praise Ben Affleck for presenting what most are calling the best Batman we’ve ever seen on the silver screen. I would agree 100%; it is possible to have the best Batman in what is far from the best Batman movie.
Actors in the past have been great at Batman but less stellar at Bruce Wayne and vice versa. Ben Affleck didn’t just deliver the best Batman, but also the best Bruce Wayne (which is probably the more difficult of the two roles). This Batman may kill… and kill… and kill… but what else is new? Batman on the big screen has been a downright serial killer, from 1989’s Batman to even the Nolan films. The latter tried to make his “One Rule” a thematic element… while allowing Bats to kill all the same. BvS never apologizes for this choice; the version of Batman that Snyder and co-writer Chris Terrio choose to use is a grizzled vet who has fought crime in Gotham for over twenty years, destroying his patience and reducing his faith that “Men Are Good” in the process. If man is not good, why not murder baddies? (I do someday want a Batman movie where he doesn’t kill… for real).Batffleck is imposing in every way, from his stature (Affleck was partially picked because he was taller than Henry Cavill’s Superman) to his terrifying voice that uses a modulator in order to avoid Christian Bale’s worst Batman trait: The Bat Voice. He’s gigantic, with Thor/Captain America sized muscles that make every Batman actor before look scrawny, even Bale. This Batman’s fighting style is smooth, fast, yet brutal in a way that seems to emulate the amazing combat of the Arkham video games and capture the feel of the comics in a way that Batman movies never have. His training sequence looked mind-boggling difficult. And his aforementioned dark(er) outlook on life completes the package: one badass, brutal Bat. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne has more depth than any before. He’s not awkward like Michael Keaton or a half assed-cover story for his true Bat Identity like Christian Bale’s version. He’s charming when he needs to be, brooding like any good Bruce Wayne (but not too brooding, another poor choice made by Bale) and… a hero. Even when he’s not in the Batsuit, hidden under the curtain of night, Bruce Wayne is just as much an action hero as his alter-ego, from his heroics at the opening Battle of Metropolis to perusing the criminal underground to steal data from Luthor’s lead henchmen (you know, that Russian Dude).Long story short: Ben Affleck is the first actor to rock the roles of Batman AND Bruce Wayne.
Worst: Superman & Clark KentSuperman continues to disappoint, maintaining the weaknesses that made his character feel “off” in Man of Steel. In fact, Henry Cavill seems to have gotten worse at the role, making decisions that seem completely off the mark for the character, especially considering Superman is supposed to be less brooding and have more faith in humanity than Batman.Cavill’s worst offense? Clark Kent is downright cocky. While Cavill said in interviews that he felt that Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Clark Kent was so downright clumsy that he would draw more attention to himself than is smart when you are a superhero by night (correction: in Goddamn daylight) who doesn’t bother to wear a mask. In an effort to fix what he sees as a problem the character has had, Cavill over compensates and completely misses the mark, making Clark Kent waaaay too cocky and not the humble man he should be when he’s not wearing (dull) red and blue.
It’s as though Cavill forgot to leave the cockiness of Napoleon Solo on the set of 2015’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Best: The New Supporting Cast – Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal GadotBatman V Superman must have had a different casting director than Man of Steel because the difference in casts are night and day, day and night (Thanks, Lex luthor, for that).
Let’s start with the Batman Universe’s 2nd most featured character, Alfred Pennyworth, played by Jeremy Irons this go around. With an older Bruce Wayne/Batman than ever before, and the 1st big screen Alfred without White Hair, the age gap between the damaged boy and his butler (now, more of a guardian, mechanic, and even sidekick) has never been slimmer. And while Michael Caine made a fantastic Alfred who was far less conventional/clichéd than Micheal Gough in the two Tim Burton and two Joel Schumacher films, Jeremy Irons does it even better. He’s more hands on from designing/fixing up the helmet under Batman’s cowl (complete with voice modulator that even makes Alfred sound terrifying) to piloting the Batwing remotely during the warehouse fight.Again, while Michael Cane’s Alfred and Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne had great chemistry, it doesn’t hold a candle to the relationship of Jeremy Iron’s Alfred and Affleck’s Bruce. They really feel like an old married couple who have been doing this crime fighting thing for 20 years, with Alfred no longer trying to talk Batman out of being Batman. But do not fear, he but is just as sarcastic about the whole situation as Caine. Though most people would disagree, I also found Jesse Eisenberg’s younger, unconventional Lex Luthor just as enjoyable as Skyfall/SPECTRE’s twenty-something Q; a real breath of fresh air. I love how he played the character, cocky at moments (like his introductory shot where he makes a basket 1st try), condescending (feeding a Military General a cherry Jolly Rancher or addressing Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch), awkward (stumbling through that speech at his Gala), and downright psychotic (Lois Lane was right!). Unlike the usual Genius-Billionaire-Rea- Estate-Mogul we are accustomed to, Eisenberg’s Luthor is not a stable man… at all. And it works!
It’s not Jesse Eisenberg’s fault that the script makes Luthor’s plans unfollowable. Finally, while I wasn’t as gaga for Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince/Wonder Woman as most, the character was a welcome addition to the film. Though I know little about the character, it seems like Gadot nailed it.
Worst: The Man of Steel Returning Cast – Amy Adams, Henry Lennix, Lawrence Fishburne, Kevin CostnerI hate to speak in absolutes, but NONE of the returning cast from Man of Steel brings anything interesting to the Batman V Superman. Maybe the reason isn’t a different casting director, but character fatigue (already) as we’ve seen all these cats in Man of Steel. Of course, it’s also possible (and very likely) that Luthor, Alfred, and Wonder Woman are just more complex characters than the following two dimensional place holders. Amy Adams may have been the victim of a bad script, but she didn’t save the role of Lois Lane like Jesse Eisenberg did with Lex Luthor. She’s the victim most the film (Superman saves her 3 times!) and her lack of investigative reporting skills make you wonder how she figured out Superman’s identity in the first film! How long does it take to track a bullet back to Lex Luthor and LexCorp, really? Worst of all, her performance doesn’t add any weight to Superman’s death at the end of the film. Somber Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince lingering the background carry more emotion than Clark Kent’s girl.Everyone else is also just so “Meh.” Henry Lennix is great on NBC’s The Blacklist, but is the world’s most boring Military General in Batman V Superman. Lawrence Fishburne plays Daily Planet Editor Perry White as though he has never read a Superman Comic, but once watched J.K. Simmons as Daily Bugle Editor J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man nearly 15 years ago and said, “I’ll do that!”
Worst of all is Kevin Costner who gets to appear as the figment a dream (in a movie full of them). A farmer telling a story about a farm incident that has little to do with the plot, unexplainably on the top of a mountain? This does seem to be a theme as there are a lot of stories/metaphors that don’t make any sense in BvS. The role is certainly a stretch (not) for Costner , who often plays farmers and doesn’t seem to realize he’s in a move in which someone invested $250 million dollars.Michael Shannon as Zod is actually the best cast member to return…and he’s just a corpse!
But that’s not all the Best and the Worst of Batman V Superman! Yes, we all know there is a lot to cover in the “Worst” department, but there is actually more in the “Best” column as well, I swear!
Note: This is a Spoiler Free! Review of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. If it wasn’t in the trailer (a disappointingly large amount was) or the 1st act, I won’t reference anything too directly. There are so many universe building moments and DC Easter Eggs for a Geek to pour over that I will likely cover in a follow up discussion full of spoilers in the coming days.
How many reviews have you read for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that were written by someone who has seen it twice? How many reviewers are self proclaimed amateur Batman Scholars? And yet, not so blindly obsessed with the Caped Crusader that he proclaims a ridiculous “20 out of 10! Best Movie Ever!” Well, soon you will have read one such review!
Batman V Superman is not the best superhero movie ever made, in fact, it doesn’t come close, not even cracking my top 10… or likely even top 20 Comic Book based films. Yet, it’s also far from the worse. Neither should be a surprise in today’s world where we have received 2-6 Superhero Films a year since 2002’s Spider-Man.
BvS is both better than I expected, yet still a bit of a visually beautiful mess. After all, Zack Snyder is at the helm; the controversial Director behind a horrible film (Sucker Punch), a fan favorite I hate (300), an incredibly average comic book film (Man of Steel), and another beautiful mess that I have a soft spot for (Watchman). Snyder continues to showcase the same weaknesses (plot, story pacing) and strengths (incredibly rich CGI visuals that truly brings comics to life). Luckily, Snyder has help from writer Chris Terrio who has written Academy Award nominated films like The Town, saving BvS from being the complete train-wreck it could have been.
The opening credits scene is a perfect sampling/representation of the film as a whole.
The movie opens with Martha and Thomas Wayne’s funeral (yes, we’ve seen this before), which flashes back to the Wayne Murder in Crime Alley (something we’ve more than any other Comic Book scene). I went to Batman V Superman with my best friend, a self proclaimed Superman fan, who has watched everything Batman with me from The Dark Knight films, to animated features like Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns, and even TV’s Gotham, in addition to having read countless comics. More than most, this friend has a hatred for the Wayne Murder that pops up in all these stories, especially the once artistically genius choice to showcase Martha’s pearls crashing to the ground; that by this point has become just as repetitive a image as as young Bruce Wayne screaming under the spotlight of a street lamp.When we saw the funeral, and then the flashback to a family walking out of a Zorro film, yet again, we both sighed. Then something amazing happened… Zach Snyder actually presented the scene in a way we’ve never seen it before with an very creative and bold choice. Instead of Joe Chill (the man who murder’s Bruce Wayne’s parents) ripping the necklace off Martha’s neck, he slips his gun against her throat so that the gun’s hammer holds the necklace tight between her neck and the gun. When the gun fires, the hammer recoils, splitting the pearl necklace and dropping the pearls in a very visual pleasing, surprising, and brutal way.
The film as a whole (with one giant exception) offers great visual takes on heroes and action set pieces we’ve seen before (in one case, literally, but that in a later…), much like his Watchman film flawlessly captured what looked like actual panels from a comic book. It’s not just perfect CGI, it’s great choices including a visual tone that doesn’t just feel richer than Man of Steel‘s faded look, but also more true to a comic than Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (visuals and a certain actor being the ONLY way the film tops the now sacred trilogy). The characters, costumes, settings, and action look fantastic from this new take on the “Pearl Scene” to the rained out battle between Superman with a fantastic rendering of the Batman “Battle” suit that’s even better than how Frank Miller was drew it in The Dark Knight Returns.Visually, things do fall apart in the grand finale, where you have a boring flaming backdrop (EVERYTHING is on fire!) and messily animated Heroes literally lunging/flying at each other over football stadium length for epic punches, even when said characters are not known for flying.
Back to the opening scene: though presented in a brand new brilliance, we’ve seen it all before… many, many times. So follows the rest of Batman V Superman; though we’ve never watched Batman fight Superman in live action, we’ve seen all the pieces before. Superman’s scenes don’t feel fresh, which isn’t a terrible crime as this film is direct sequel to Man of Steel. Though he’s never looked so good, we’ve seen Batman in a ridiculous amount of movies. Marvel has already stolen the magic of bringing multiple titans to the same battlefield, and the destruction of the finale may be over red burning ground instead of Man of Steel‘s grey rubble, but really, what’s the difference (besides the not subtle at all lines about how everywhere anyone fights in Gotham or Metropolis is “uninhabited”)?
The 2nd scene, though one of the best in the film (if not the best), is not just a repeated image like the death of the Waynes and the ever present Pearls, but a literal repeat of the Battle of Metropolis from Man of Steel, this time from Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) perspective. The scene is visceral and real with painful yet effective 9/11 imagery, from Bruce’s race to the Wayne Fiances skyscraper to the building’s collapse and the remaining, living victims. The destruction is more real and seems to be on an even larger scale when we are watching the laser vision of Zod and Superman (Henry Cavill) rip Wayne Fiances to pieces from a far, with the two “Gods” (really Aliens) just specks in a sky flying around giant ships exploding, destroying nearly everything.
It’s not just the visuals that make this stand-out scene so emotional, for the film’s other greatest strength is also essential in saving what could have been boring Batman/Bruce Wayne scenes in any other Batman actor’s hands. I’m of course referring to Ben Affleck, who is indeed the Batman AND Bruce Wayne we have always deserved (no actor has pulled off both sides of the coin so evenly). His brooding and anger are the only real thing in this film (because all those visuals I’ve been praising were manufactured in a computer).Quick props to Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as the latest Alfred Pennyworth for both not playing their roles conventionally, yet still delivering satisfying versions (especially Jesse Eisenberg!).
Back to the opening of the film: it’s a dream! And this film has an overabundance of dreams/possible visions, from Bruce’s apocalyptic “Knightmare” (get it?) of a world run by a heartless Superman, to Clark Kent seeing Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) in the mountains. These kind of scenes drive the story forward (and even begin to set up the greater universe including the Justice League) in a movie that feels surprisingly slow with so many characters packed in.
A great fear of mine going in was that, not unlike Watchmen (which also had soooo many characters and events to cover) or overstuffed semi-messes like Spider-Man or even Avengers: Age of Ultron, this film would feel rushed, trying to get to the big battle referenced in the title as quickly as possible with little thought and space given to the connective plot tissue.Quite the opposite is true, in fact. The movie is almost too slow, allowing the themes of what it means to be just a man in a God’s world and absolute power corrupting to breath for the 1st two acts. That is, before any theme or reason from earlier in the film is quickly forgotten in favor of “Smashy, Smashy, Punch Time” in the 3rd act.
Are there plot holes? God, yes, but I don’t want to go in so far as to spoil any plot points, nor am I trying to be “Honest Trailers” or “How It Should Have Ended.” Some plot holes and choices do make more sense as a comic fan as they are less of a stretch for someone who has read variations of these stories in the comics. Others are just dumbfounding, but even the Marvel films are guilty of that sin.
One thing The Avengers did pull off that BvS fails at, is giving Batman something to do when fighting a villain meant for the likes of the more powerful Superman and Wonder Woman. While armies of aliens or robots in the two Avengers films gave heroes with no powers (Hawkeye and Black Widow) or limited ones (Captain America) something to fight, Batman runs and stands around more than he fights in the grand finale, waiting for Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, who is okay, but doesn’t shine) and Superman to do all the real fighting.
So, there you go! A review written by someone who had the chance to put the thoughts generated by not one, but two viewings of Batman V Superman down on (digital) paper.
Is this a Batman V Superman that rivals The Avengers? No. Is it a watchable film that actually makes you excited for the prospect of Justice League: Part One? Absolutely!
The second full length trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has arrived by way of Jimmy Kimmel Live, just as the 1st Captain America V Iron-ManCaptain America: Civil War trailer was released last week. Kimmel certainly seems to have the best Bookers in late night TV!
Almost entirely new footage, the latest trailer goes as far to show us the film’s true villain, because a there was never a chance that Batman and Superman wouldn’t join forces at the end to fight a common villain, likely from Superman’s Rogue Gallery. So, if you don’t want the spoiler of who the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel fight in Act III, aside Wonder Woman, don’t watch this trailer!
On the other hand, if you want some wonderful banter between Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) about the violent Bat Vigilante and the dangerous Alien, do watch the trailer! And there’s nothing like Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) not only introducing Kent and Wayne, but also gleefully claiming responsibility for it!
It does look like Kent V Wayne part of the conflict may be more interesting than watching the two heroes wail on each-other, especially after the Captain America: Civil War showed us beautifully choreographed Capt. & Bucky V Iron Man combat vs the smashy-smashy chunkiness and raw power of Bats V Sups.Speaking of Captain America, I think he wants his shield back…
There’s even a bit of levity in the trailer, most noticeably when Batman and Superman meet Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) at the end of the trailer. Batman films have lightened up… in the smallest increment possible.
Watch the trailer now! And, because it is really awesome, I did include a picture of the main villain after the trailer. I included some space so you don’t see it if you don’t want to.
Doomsday! I guess the rumors where right.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out March 2016,
Last night during Fox’s Batman (Villains)-Centric TV show, Gotham, we were “treated” to the 1st Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice footage for the since the official trailer and the more expansive Comic-Con sizzle reel.Rather than an actual trailer, which will follow tomorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live (as the trailer for Captain America: Civil War did last week) this Wednesday the 2nd of December, Gotham fans were offered an odd clip that gives some hope that Ben Affleck will crush it as Batman / Bruce Wayne, but also raises serious issues about Superman… and whether or not Batffleck wears black eye makeup of not.
First, the “TV Spot” (It’s really a clip…):
Both actors, Affleck as The Dark Knight and Henry Cavill as The Man of Steel are both looking pretty intense in this short teaser; some may use the clip as evidence that Superman has gotten too dark and intense, not at all resembling the Superman of Action Comics. I’ve always been a fan of his casting, and Affleck still seems perfect as The Caped Crusader and Gotham’s #1 Playboy Billionaire, bringing an intense rage with nuances cementing him as the incredible actor he can be. I almost feel sorry for Cavill having to try to out act the very seasoned Affleck, especially caught in a scene that is sooo not Superman.Superman’s anger and apparent army are one riddle this trailer offers… Is Supes under Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) control (we get that same look of anger as he looks up at Luthor after Lex rests his hand over him in the Comic-Con trailer)? Did Batman accidentally lead to the death of a loved one like Lois Lane (Amy Adams)? Or is Superman just really, really, angry?Screengabs from the Comic-Con Trailer. He looks angry there too!
Whatever the case may be, Superman removes Batman’s mask, leading to an even larger question… where’d that classic Batman black eye makeup dissipate to in seconds?
In order to reproduce the look of the Iris-less white eyes of Batman as he is drawn, all the big screen Batmans have worn black eye makeup under their cowl from Michael Keaton to Christian Bale. It looks like Ben Affleck has it one too… but OOPS! Then it’s gone.Definitely some black eye makeup above…Ta-Da! It’s…. Gone! Just super intense… and pissed… Ben Affleck!
Maybe it’s a trick of the mask!
Hopefully tomorrow’s new trailer puts a few things into perspective… including this puzzling scene. Why would Superman have a prison and soldiers? Why unmask Bruce Wayne when he can see through his mask?
Check back later when I post the Jimmy Kimmel LiveBatman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer! Here just in time for placement on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We did it! We survived one of the highest grossing summers on record due mostly to Universal Studios hits like Jurassic World, Minions, and Straight Outta Compton. Not that Disney doesn’t deserve credit for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, and Ant-Man.
But this list isn’t about the money grossed, it’s about the quality of films we watched. What were the 6 best films of Summer 2015? According to me…
Let’s start with my predictions for the whole year. View that article in its entirety or just read this list of my anticipation levels from least excited to complete obsession. Again, there were my predictions based more on enjoyment level, not a list predicting which films would necessarily be best this summer.
7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
1. Jurassic World
Since this new List only covers Summer 2015 and not the Fall, we can knock Star Wars and SPECTRE off my possibility of choices.
The original list are the titles I thought would be most enjoyable. To be transparent, this new list of the “Best” Movies of Summer 2015 takes into account enjoyably AND quality. If this list were purely based on how much I enjoyed a film, the list would look slightly different.
Let’s start work from sixth favorite to my number one; this post just containing Sixth through Third favorite.
WARNING: SPOILERSFollow for each Film. Skip one if you haven’t seen it and don’t want it spoiled.
6. MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Not a great Guy Ritchie, nor Spy Film, but I had to include it rather because it still deserves a spot on this list, even if it was my 6th favorite movie of the summer and most lists are traditionally out of five.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E film is classy as hell, with tons of Guy Ritchie style more apparent than his more tightly controlled bigger studio franchise, Sherlock Holmes. The “buddy” dynamic between US Agent Solo (Our current Superman,Henry Cavill) and USSR Agent Illya (Armie Hammer!) brings most the humor that is not limited to dialog exchanges, but also humorous action scenes involving the competitive nature or two Spies from different sides of the Cold War.
HIGHLIGHTS: Henry Cavill continues to nail the role as an American (again, see Man of Steel) with all the added almost overabundance of charm required to be a fantastic play on Sean Connery’s or Roger Moore’s version of James Bond.
Likewise, though they have a Brit playing an American and Armie Hammer playing Russian, Hammer also nails the role, with his aforementioned antics with Cavill’s Solo providing most of the film’s enjoyment.
Just like Kingsman back in February, Man From U.N.C.L.E. also has great classic 60’s 007 references in its locations and over-the-top not-so-secret Spy work of suave Solo.
WEAKNESSES: The action just isn’t there compared to other 2015 spy films like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. There’s a decent chase at the end, some fun silly action sequences like the opening car chase, but the action just isn’t as abundant as in a 007 picture, for example.
Likewise, the “turncoat” scene where Gaby (Alicia Vikander) gives up Solo and Illya only to be reveled as a questionable British Agent, is very reminiscent of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
That’s just bad (unlucky) timing for Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The film really feels like a set-up for a wonderful franchise we will never see as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a flop.
5. ANT-MANLook, Ant-Man is neither my favorite Marvel movie, nor my least favorite. In an age when Ant-Man is Marvel’s 12th(?… Maybe 11th) movie, that is not a bad thing what-so-ever.
For me, Ant-Man falls in the middle of the pack, higher than The Incredible Hulk, both Thor movies, Iron Man 2, and Captain America: The First Avenger, but lower than movies Iron Man 1 & 3, Captain America: Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy, and both Avengers films.
Highlights: The cast, to start! Paul Rudd as Scott Lang gives us our most grounded Avenger yet; a father who is kept from his daughter because of a criminal past. Marvel as a Universe is known for down-to-Earth heroes, but Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, and Capt. are not mortals like Ant-Man (Iron Man technically is mortal, but he has none of the angst that comes with fatherhood). Rudd is one of the most likable Avengers, with his character’s weaknesses yet strength of charm, empathy and comedy.
Let’s not stop there! Of course Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Evangeline Lily as eventual Wasp, Hope van Dyne, don’t disappoint. But, besides Rudd, Ant-Man’s Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket and Michael Pena as Lang’s best friend Luis steal the show.
Stoll combines the classic elements of Norman Osborne’s madness in the original Spider-Man and Obadiah Stane’s suit-envy in Iron Man. Meanwhile, hilarious Michael Pena brings more humor to the film than even funny-man Paul Rudd, reminding me of his favorite role as Seth Rogen’s right-hand security guard in Observe and Report.
Which brings me to Ant-Man‘s next strength… the genre. Lately, Marvel movies have played with mixing different genres with the classic Super Hero story to give their origin stories and the like more originality. Winter Soldier was a 70’s Thriller, Guardians was a Star Wars-esque Space Opera, and Ant-Man is a heist film… complete with a full team… including Michael Pena! (BOOM! Brought it all the way ’round.)
Yet, the tie-ins to Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War are the movies greatest strengths. Nothing like Ant-Man fighting Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the mention of someone who “can climb walls.”
Humor is the final piece of Ant-Man‘s successful puzzle. My father had no interest in Ant-Man, but I dragged him along and he was shocked by how funny the film is! Like The Guardians of the Galaxy, humor was the only way to make Ant-Man mainstream.
Weaknesses: Some of Ant-Man is very cookie-cutter Marvel. Sometimes it does feel too much like the 1st Iron Man from the idea of a “suit” as his superpower to the notion that the villain just wants the same tech. In it’s least interesting moments, Ant-Man can feel like an Iron Man clone.
4. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
It’s The Avengers Assembled! Again! This time fighting a creation of almost villainous Tony Stark (who does risk the team’s life with the best intentions), Ultron, an artificial intelligence who cannot be destroyed until he is locked out of the net and every drone is blown to bits.
Highlights: A lot of people love to hate this film, but I still think Avengers: Age of Ultron is Marvel Top Five; even better than the 1st film.
Why? Because The Avengers was mainly awesome because of the “Holy Shit! Bruce Banner just met Steve Rogers!” That single shot in the 1st film that flies around New York City, catching every Avenger in action was mind-blowing.
And this film opens with a scene just like that!
Age of Ultron is the stronger film as the plot is more important and fleshed out than the 1st Avengers. Think about it; the 1st film was mainly on the Helicarrier and dealt with simply following Loki around, knowing exactly what he was up to. Age of Ultron doesn’t just offer a more fluid and varied plot crafted for amazing action sequences, but a more personal story that brings out every Avenger’s (except Hawkeye) greatest fears.
Tony Stark’s scene of fear is the most poignant; an alien invasion heading toward Earth while his friends die a rocky-planet with Capt. accusing Stark of not being there to save them. This is an excellent plot device to drive Stark into horrible decisions… like creating artificial intelligence using Loki’s staff… which was also handled by Hydra. It also sets the stage for Avengers: Infinity War where our heroes could very well end up dead on an Alien planet after a failed defense against Thanos.
Finally, we get a lot of Captain America! he has most the screen-time and why not? He’s team leader and his fight with Ultron is Seoul may be a mismatch, but it’s Capt. at his best!
Weaknesses: I may like Age of Ultron better than Ant-Man, but it sure has more faults.
Too many characters! You can’t just add three Avengers in the 3rd Act (even though we knew you would…)! One can only hope that the super talented Russo Brothers can balance the sheer amount of Avengers that will exist by the time Avengers: Infinity War comes out.
Ultron is not as cool as he could have been. Right James Spader?
Hawkeye needs some screen-time to make up for The Avengers, and it’s awesome he actually has a family (like Scott Lang), but too much time spent on his farm regardless.
On the eve of what was supposed to be the IMAX premiere of the trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (though it actually hit the web on Friday. Watch it now!), director Zack Snyder has released two really cool looking posters for the film, likely a prize that will be handed out at these IMAX screenings to make sure people will come and line-up even though they can watch the trailer at home.
Without further ado, here they are. And they are glorious.
I really dig this style. The Batman symbol ripped from Superman’s face really brings a Dark Knight vibe to the marketing; reminiscent of posters of Batman’s past.
So, show up Monday at one of those IMAX screenings of the trailer… and hopefully you’ll go home with something…
I just realized I’ve been calling Batman V Superman, “Justice Begins,”not ‘Dawn of Justice” in past posts. Whoops. It’s a lame subtitle anyway…
But what’s not lame? At all? The Batman heavy trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice!
Watch it now!
I’m just gonna say it… Batman and all his wonderful toys have me so excited for this movie! Though we have no dialog in his own voice, Ben Affleck has at least nailed the haunted look of damaged Bruce Wayne. And I love, Love, LOVE the fact he is using a high tech voice modulator. He sounds scary, but not ridiculous.
I wonder if Kevin Smith is creaming his shorts… he proposed such a way to disguise Bruce Wayne’s voice before the film started shooting. Good call, Mr. Smith.
Superman is certainty vilified in this trailer, yet also held up like a God in several places.
Says Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor:
“We know better now, don’t we? Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.”
Alfred has some words of wisdom himself, though it sounds like it is more about Bruce than Superman, me thinks. Or even Lex Luthor.
“That’s how it starts. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness. That turns good men… cruel.”
And finally, synthesized Batman has a few words for the Man of Steel.
“Tell me, do you bleed? You will!”
The trailer draws heavily from the beloved Frank Miller graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, which probably offers the best showdown between the two heroes in all of comic-dom.
And there are plenty of Easter Eggs to find! I saw a classy “?” gratified somewhere in that trailer…and let’s not forget we get looks at the Batwing and Batmobile!
March 2016 can’t come fast enough! I want to see Batman somehow kick Superman’s ass!
But it’s the tiny bit of content that is exciting! In this most teaserly of teaser trailers for a teaser trailer, you will see one amazing thing: a shot of Batman’s new, glorious cowl!
We’ve seen it pictured before (below), but seeing the suit through the lens of a camera, even if CGI’ed… is amazing. Here’s the original peek we got months upon months ago.
I didn’t notice the stitched together look of the new suit until this “teaser trailer,” but it is evident in the picture above when examined closely.I love this stitched together look which is simpler, less-armor, more-classic Batsuit that really hearkens more to the costume of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns than Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
Its even go ‘dem short ears I love! And the nose is more human than past masks that gave Batman more of a mini-beak! (In the trailer at least; the original image below is more beaky.)
Batman V Superman: Justice Begins has been generous (though not nearly as generous as Marvel of late!) with official pictures of other key characters like Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and even Aquaman (Jason Momoa). And let’s not forget Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg)!
Let’s look at those now, shall we?
I’ll wager you can tell which is which.
Today’s teaser was meant as an invitation from director Zack Snyder to see the first full, real Teaser Trailer at IMAX on Monday… if your state gets it…
The rest of us will hopefully get the full trailer online next week as well.