Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Review

Zack Snyder’s attempt at the movie we’ve wanted to see for decades fell short of expectations.

In anticipation to Wonder Woman, I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice again, so here’s the review. PLEASE BE WARNED! While I will try not to go into specifics, there could be some spoiled plot points. While this is a review, it will include some analysis and ‘ways I would do it better’.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice never had the excitement around it that the idea of a Superman/Batman film had. That came from the divisiveness of 2013’s Man of Steel, which I enjoyed for the most part.

The main problem Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is the Dawn of Justice part. This is two movies. The first involves Batman and Superman both being manipulated in to hating each other, they both had their reasons but they were played upon and had their perspective skewed. The story would involve the main characters investigating what seem to be separate leads that all end up being part of the one plan. That plan, was to have Superman kill Batman and that this scenario would have one of two outcomes:

1. To show the world either that Superman would kill someone – God can’t be all good. Or,

2. To show the world that Batman killed Superman – God can’t be all powerful.

Now to me, that sounds like a good story. A little bit of action sprinkled in at certain points, some mystery and intrigue, all culminating in a finale that pits the two DC Comics greats in a battle of Brains (and money) vs. Brawn. Naturally, of course before killing one another they realise they are actually on the same side and they go after the real threat that has been influencing them from the start. We put that threat in jail, while he is in there he plots something bigger, upon his eventual escape, which will be the story of the next film. 2 hours and 10 minutes, simple story, easy to follow, everybody forgets their so-so reaction to Man of Steel, bring on the next film, ‘Dawn of Justice’.

Except that didn’t happen. Instead, that story more or less ends around the 2 hour mark and the remaining 30 minutes of its run time resulted in a ridiculous mess that features an overpowered enemy that came out of nowhere, with very little set up or reason for being there, a character that while awesome (spoilers: it’s Wonder Woman), probably shouldn’t have been in a movie called ‘Batman v Superman’ and particular plot point that probably shouldn’t have seen the light of a projector til ‘Man of Steel 3’. Some shots from the last 30 minutes looked good, but a lot of them were just so cluttered by lighting bolts and laser beams that it lost all meaning. Some of the shots were harder to determine what was going on than being able to determine who’s fighting who in a Transformers movie.

There are more issues with the film, including pacing, writing and editing etc. But I don’t want to be so negative on this film, because there is something there. There’s a movie in here, I have ever since I saw this film believed that. All I need to do it sit down in front of my computer one day and maybe make a cut of my own to prove it. (I don’t want to alarm you but the writers and editor from BvS:DoJ are doing the same jobs on Justice League.)

I very much enjoyed Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne and Batman. He gave the older, gruffer character that the story asked for and we were looking for. That said, I like most of the acting in this film. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams have a shallow dynamic, dialogue-wise but their body language and the look in their eyes said more than the script could. Gal Gadot did a pretty decent job as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and delivered in my favourite shot of the entire film – a small smile during the big fight at the end, a little thing that said so much about the character, it said: “This is fun.”, “I’ve missed this” and “So you want a fight, huh?” all at the same time.

Jeremy Irons brought a new side to Alfred Pennyworth that we hadn’t seen before and I didn’t mind Holly Hunter’s role as a senator leading an enquiry in to Superman. Lawrence Fishburne brought nothing to the role as Perry White and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor left a lot to be desired… there were moments of proper evil to his character but sadly it was overshadowed by his ‘no one comprehends my genius’ shtick mixed with a fair amount of overacting.

The first 2 hours of the movie weren’t bad, it probably could have been done with being an hour and 40, but the story was enjoyable and could be followed somewhat. That being said, this is a comic book movie, and yes, the characters are from comic books, I know. I mean this movie paces like a comic book, it could even do with the odd “Meanwhile” tags in the top left corner in a few scenes, if this film was adapted in to a comic book – it would work. I think that is what sets the current DC films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe apart, Marvel makes movies based on its characters, they have adapted story lines, DC, or at least Zack Snyder seems to adapt the panels. Which is why 300 and Watchmen worked for the fans of those movies, its what they were expecting. It’s not what fans were expecting after Marvel had completed its ‘Phase One’. I think the culture had changed.

After all this though, I like parts of this movie, so it doesn’t fail completely in my opinion. I see this movie for it’s merits and what it tried to do. Don’t get me wrong, I have ideas about how you can fix this and effectively write this movie off – which in the DC Universe at least can be done very easily.

2 Stars

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Ben Affleck to star as Batman in second Man of Steel

Actor/Director/Academy Award Winner, Ben Affleck has been cast as the next screen version of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the sequel to Man of Steel.

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.” – Greg Silverman (WB President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production)

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.” Zack Snyder (Director of both Man of Steel and its sequel)

“We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.” Sue Kroll (WB President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution)

This will not be Ben Affleck’s first time as a costume clad superhero, he starred as Daredevil in the 2003 film. So we can already get the feel for what he will look like under the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight. Very little is known about the direction that the film will take other than the appearance of Batman. What we do know is that the untitled sequel will be written by David S. Goyer who was one of the key writers in the Nolan Batman trilogy… so if anyone can write a good adventure for the caped crusader it’ll be him!

daredevil

Film News Friday – Week 33, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the Movie World this week…

  • Ridley Scott to make a new Blade Runner film. No word as yet weather it’s a sequel or a prequel.
  • Will Smith is in discussions for Fantastic Voyage
  • With The Avengers almost complete, Robert Downey Jr. states that he’s excited to work with Iron Man 3 director, Shane Black.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures hits the $2 Billion mark again this year.
  • The Trailer for Underworld Awakening has been released.

  • The troubled film The Wolverine is set to shoot in Vancouver in November. It is essentially a sequel to Origins: Wolverine and it expected to be directed by James Mangold.
  • A synopsis of Man Of Steel has been released with a Vancouver Casting Call:

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.

  • Films The Dark Tower and The Lone Ranger are undergoing some financial troubles for their respective production companies. The Lone Ranger may be able to get out of the woods by cutting back a science fiction/fantasy/Native American element.
  • Coming February next year is Daniel Radcliffe’s new film… The Woman In Black.

Sucker Punch on DVD

With the release of Sucker Punch on DVD this week how about we re-live the review of quite possibly the most hyped-up movie of the year…

It’s incredibly hard to describe this film. I saw it on Thursday and I’ve had to give it this long too sink in. This movie improves with age. It starts out with a five minute dialogue-less scene where where the story is set, A woman dies and has left everything she owns to her two young daughters, the girl’s jealous step father decides to take what he wants and he attacks the girls. In the process the younger sister is killed and in an act of self defence the older sister, “Baby Doll” (Emily Browning) points a gun at her evil step father. Baby Doll is framed for the murder of her sister and is sent to an asylum for the insane.

There, Baby Doll meets Rocket, Sweet Pea, Blondie and Amber and thats where things start getting interesting. Baby Doll’s imagination turns the asylum into a club where the inmates are the dancers. Baby Doll’s dancing mesmerises people and allows her and the other girls to experience awesome new worlds and crazy scenarios.

This film provides a look inside the mind of a crazy person. But is the crazy person Baby Doll or Zack Snyder? Let your imagination run wild and you might get this movie straight away. The soundtrack and visual effects are amazing and Zack’s use of his favourite special effect, slow motion shots make this movie a dream come true… Literally, this movie is more dream like than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Despite what others say Zack Snyder is a talented director and he has made a good movie here. Although it’s a bit of a mess, Sucker Punch gets my vote!

2 Stars

Ultimately, the film only raked in $89 Million world-wide, in Australia, it pulled about $4.5 Million. The film never quite broke as good as the production company was hoping for. The budget of $82 Million was only just met in it’s theatrical life and unfortunately, Sucker Punch, missed the mark. Zack Snyder will return to the screen as director in 2013 with Man of Steel.

Sucker Punch is available on DVD and BluRay in all good video stores.

                   

Film News Fridays – Week 31, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the Movie World this week…

  • Paramount Pictures have announced that they have broken the $2 Billion mark for the second year in a row.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road will now no longer be filmed in Broken Hill as first thought… Heavy rains changed the arid landscape and the location is not appropriate any more for the film. No new location has been announced.
  • Walking With Dinosaurs, a movie based on the TV and stage show, is slated for a December 2013 release.
  • Melisa Wallack has been signed to pen the screenplay for an “Emily The Strange” film, Chloe Moretz has already been attached to play the lead.
  • The trailer for Lucasfilm’s first non Star Wars/Indiana Jones film since 1994, Red Tails has been released… Think Remember the Titans meets Top Gun… interested? Click Here
  • In other Lucasfilm news, a date has been set for Star Wars – Episode One: The Phantom Menace 3D to be released in cinemas… February 10, 2012.
  • It hasn’t even opened here yet but there are already talks of a Green Lantern sequel… The president of Warner Bros. claims that the US opening was decent enough to know there is a fan base big enough to play around with continuing the story. He also stated that they have a solid script for a screen debut of The Flash, they are also toying with the idea of a Justice League film…
  • While we’re on DC comics Laurence Fishburne (of Matrix and CSI fame), has joined the cast of Man of Steel as editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White.
  • Thats not all Super-fans! A new photo has been released of Henry Cavill as Superman!

 

 

 

 

Film News Fridays – Week 15, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…
  • Zod to be Enemy in Man of Steel, Michael Shannon is playing the evil Kryptonian General, Faora is also rumoured as an enemy.
  • Jessie Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz, all join the cast of a new Woody Allen movie.
  • Peter Jackson has announced he is filming the Hobbit at  48fps… double the regular rate… and calls for cinemas to be ready or to miss out.
  • More cast join The Dark Knight Rises – Josh Pence as a young Ra’s Al Ghul as well as Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff and Burn Gorman who are penciled in at this point. Production is not too far away!
  • Bradley Cooper to play the lead in The Crow remake. Penned by Aussie Musician Nick Cave.
  • Avatar 2 Development and Pre Production is gearing up.
  • Anthony Horrowitz to write the second Tin Tin movie.
  • Ben Affleck to join Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer released. Check it out below.

FNF – Week 12 2011

Film News Friday, March 25th

  • The writer of The Amazing Spider-Man, James Vanderbilt has been reported to have signed on for the sequel. Sony Pictures seems to want to get the next movie underway soon after the July, 2012 release.
  • Feature Length Film to feature Micky, Donald & Goofy being developed at Disney.
  • A “PG-13” version of The King’s Speech is being released in America. This is in response to the R rating on the regular release. – This version set for Australia?… Maybe on a DVD release but certainly not in cinemas.
  • New ‘Bourne’ film (that will not have Matt Damon) in talks to cast Joel Edgerton (forthcoming remake of The Thing), Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) in the lead role, a character that isn’t Jason Bourne, but is somehow affected by the events of the trilogy. It’s being billed as a ‘side-quel’.

The Week That Was

The news the made the headlines this week since the last FNF.

Saturday, March 19th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt now confirmed for The Dark Knight Rises, along with Juno Temple.
  • S.H.E.I.L.D website launched > http://www.joinshield.com/.
  • Jodie Foster to direct a Sci-Fi Thriller.
  • Adrianne Palicki: the new Wonder Woman… >First Pictures.
  • Billy Bob Thornton to return in Bad Santa 2.
  • Kevin Costner to play Jonathan Kent in The Man of Steel.

Sunday, March 20th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levit’s Dark Knight Rises role revealed, Alberto Falcone, the son of Mafia chieftain Carmine Falcone, the character Tom Wilkinson played in Batman Begins.
  • New Hugh Jackman movie, Real Steel – New viral videos released of a few of the fighting robots central to the storyline. Check out wrb.com or Coming Soon.net.
  • US Ticket sales are down 20% on the first quarter of 2010. Why? A series of 3-D flops are to blame. Disney’s Mars Need Moms the most recent to bomb out and is one of Disney’s worst opening weekends in years.
  • Brian Naylor, director of the new Ghost Rider movie “The Spirit of Vengence” talks about the story the characters and more. Check out Collider.com for the full article.
  • Tim Burton to direct a stop motion version of The Addams Family for 2014.

Monday, March 21st

  • Production on The Hobbit begins. Facebook page launched for the film.
  • New Pirates 4 trailer is released.
  • Zack Snyder, talks more on Superman… “real(-est) film he’s ever done”.

Tuesday, March 22nd

  • Batman Begins, Speculation… Again: Joseph Gordon-Levitt may not be playing Falcone. Entertainment Weekly has announced that the statement of the character he will be playing was wrong.
  • New footage of Captain America to be released tomorrow on Entertainment Tonight.
  • The script for an american live-action Akira have been sent out to prospective leads. Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy all possible for Tetsuo.
  • Poster for the new Antonio Banderas movie comes out… The Big Bang! (Read the plot line of this movie you will think “what the?!?!”

Wednesday, March 23rd

  • Next Narnia movie to be produced… The Magicians Nephew
  • Clash of the Titans 2 goes into production… I’m sure none of you can wait for this.
  • Captain America trailer released.
  • Harry Houdini movie in the works by Sony Pictures.
  • The Wolverine on hold, no director and Japan crisis.

Thursday, March 24th

  • Dame Elizabeth Taylor Dies age 79.
  • Paramount Reveal the first 20 mins of Super 8.
  • Zack Snyder reveals Superman begins shooting in August.
  • Battle: Los Angeles Tops Australian Box Office

TV News

  • Torchwood to premiere July 8.
  • Fringe to give the green light for a new season.
  • Futurama renewed for two years.
  • CBS seem as though the may want their cash-cow, Charlie Sheen back… he is still winning.
  • TV Series not returning to American screens next season so far…
    • Friday Night Lights
    • Life Unexpected
    • Live to Dance
    • Lone Star
    • Medium
    • My Generation
    • Outlaw
    • Running Wilde
    • Skating with the Stars
    • Smallville
    • Supernanny
    • The Cape
    • The Good Guys
    • The Whole Truth
    • Undercovers

Youtube

Captain America Trailer

The Big Bang Trailer

The Big Bang Poster

And thats the News, this week.