Posts Tagged ‘batman’

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Tons of Movie Reviews!!

October 7, 2018

I am so far behind on movie reviews it is ridiculous. I haven’t posted thoughts on a movie since before I left for Vegas in late May, so… my list of movies I’ve seen and haven’t rated is quite long. Some of these will be difficult to write since it has been months since I’ve seen them. I’m going to make these quick in the spirit of catching up and starting fresh.

Hellfest (2018) – This was really dumb. I can write a long list of what sucked about this movie, so I’ll just say what I liked: the ending was actually kind of cool. (3/10 – Bad)

White Boy Rick (2018) – Based on true events, White Boy Rick’s story is worthy of being shared. Dude that played WBR was solid and Matthew McConaughey was a scene-stealer in the dad role. I enjoyed it. (6/10 – Fun)

Searching (2018) – I absolutely loved it. Searching manages to tell a compelling mystery through nothing but social media, computer apps, and surveillance cameras – it’s actually quite mind-boggling how well it is all pulled off. I was entranced by the story as it kept me guessing and intrigued, even though I did pick up on some huge clues on my first viewing. John Cho was solid in the lead role, giving the best performance of his career. I think this is a must see and I enjoyed it again when I saw it a second time, but for what it’s worth, both people I saw it with the first time hated it. (8/10 – Must See)

Terrifier (2018) – This is available on Netflix right now and if you enjoy horror movies where a potentially iconic villain terrorizes random people, then Art the Clown is your dude – he was phenomenal, giving Pennywise some legit contention for the most traumatizing clown title. This movie is gruesome beyond belief and highly entertaining if you’re into that sort of thing. Even the victims are less generic than your typical horror slasher. More Terrifier. More Art please. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

Alpha (2018) – What starts off as a dreary tale of survival quickly turns into a story of what could be the first canine to become man’s best friend. This was definitely a feel good movie with some great visuals. It’s slow at times but ended up being much better than I thought it would be. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – This was good. A testament that racism and prejudice can exist even within the same ethnicity – in this case, a lower-to-middle class Chinese-American and, well, a “crazy rich” Chinese matriarch with cultural traditions as deep as her pockets. This movie was touching, sporadically funny, beautifully shot in jarring Singapore and has a solid breakout performance from rapper Awkwafina and strong performances from Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh. A fun movie with tear-jerking potential. I recommend. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

BlacKkKlansman (2018) – Another racially charged dramedy, this one’s a bit more poignant with Spike Lee’s adept filmmaking abilities in the director’s chair. A period piece, based on true events – or at least some “fo’ real fo’ real shit” – a cocky, black rookie police officer infiltrates the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan with the help of one of his fellow white officers. This movie is funny, disturbing and sad. Adam Driver is great. John David Witherspoon is fun. I really liked this movie but the lighthearted presentation takes away from the severity of it all. I wanted to feel something more and I think that’s what holds BlacKkKlansman back from being a truly great film. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

The Meg (2018) – This was a fine monster shark movie, but it obviously doesn’t execute as well as Jaws did, or even last year’s 47 Meters Down. It’s not scary or particularly interesting but it’s reasonably entertaining. (5/10 – Decent)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – A great action flick. Tom Cruise and the M:I franchise keep plugging along, pumping out high quality popcorn entertainment. This movie has multiple phenomenal action sequences and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has been cooler than James Bond for quite some time now. Superman was a good and formidable villain. This just might be the most entertaining movie I’ve seen in 2018. (8/10 – Must See)

The Death of Superman (2018) – This is the highly touted Superman vs Doomsday death match that DC comics got tons of attention for back in the early 90s brought to animated life on home video. I thought it was great. I forgot enough about the comic book arc that it all seemed pretty fresh to me, particularly the involvement of the Justice League. Also, Clark and Lois have some iconic moments. A must watch for comic book fans. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (2018) – Unfortunately, the reviews for this movie make it seem way better than it actually was. Yeah, there’s a lot of meta humor going on here, but it is overshadowed by sheer stupidity. I had a number of examples of upsetting moments after watching it that escape me now… months later… but this was a tough watch for an adult fan of DC comics. (3/10 – Bad)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) – Jurassic World was enjoyable to me but any hope that this franchise has found new life is quickly destroyed by this terrible sequel. It is laughably bad at times and utterly ridiculous throughout its duration. I desperately want this franchise to succeed because the concept of dinosaurs in the modern world is awesome, but this is the third legitimately bad movie in five tries. The setup for the next one is intriguing, but this movie jumped the shark and there are threats of worse things to come. (3/10 – Bad)

Upgrade (2018) – A high-tech revenge thriller reminiscent of Robocop, Upgrade sees a Regular Joe get some A.I. assistance after getting crippled by criminals and turns himself into a super-powered vigilante. I actually thought the film was walking a very predictable path and it ended up surprising me. Decent enough story with fine acting and great action sequences, this was a solid action flick with a sci-fi twist. (6/10 – Fun)

Baby Driver (2017) – The opening sequence of this movie had me thinking it might end up being a classic. Alas, this was the highlight of the film and everything that followed kind of paled in comparison. Still, I really liked Baby Driver. It had some awesome driving scenes, a fun and stylish tone, charismatic and likable characters, and solid performances, particularly from Ansel Elgort in the lead role. There has been a lot of praise for the soundtrack and music does play a massive role in the film, but I wasn’t blown away by the song selections. This movie is a blast and I’m calling it a must see but it falls a bit short of a true classic. (8/10 – Must See)

Batman & Harley Quinn (2017) – Animated Batman movies are on a cold stretch. This one doesn’t help matters at all. Poison Ivy and some green dude I’ve never heard of are the main foils and the world’s greatest detective inexplicably needs Harley Quinn’s assistance in tracking them down. This movie has more musical numbers than cool Batman moments. It does, however, have a one night stand between Harley and Nightwing. I’m not positive, but this could be the worst Bat-Project Kevin Conroy has been involved with. (2/10 – Horrible)

Truth or Dare (2017) – This is basically Final Destination meets “Fear Factor.” I’m a horror fan but self-mutilation? I’m good. This was bad enough that I would have been okay not finishing it. (2/10 – Horrible)

Note: I thought Truth or Dare came out in 2018. Well, it did. This one I watched and reviewed is the Truth or Dare currently streaming on Netflix, not the theatrical release from Blumhouse earlier this year. So… I guess there’s more of this in my future.

Creep (2014) – A unique take on found footage horror, Creep has comic actor Mark Duplass (“The League”) playing against type as a dying man that hires a filmmaker to videotape his last days, but slowly unveils himself to be… something else. Unsettling and surprising, with a GREAT performance from Duplass, Creep is a must see thriller. (8/10 – Must See)

Creep 2 (2017) – A very worthy sequel to the original that I can’t say much about without spoiling the first film, but it manages to both raise the stakes and find keep things original, all while keeping the same tense and ominous tone. Of course, Duplass is once again fantastic. A solid second entry in an overlooked and surprising franchise. (7/10 – Highly Enjoyable)

Would You Rather (2012) – This is basically the same quality of horror and concept of Truth or Dare, except this time actual humans are enforcing the game. I like to throw low brow horror flicks on when I’m going to bed so I end up watching stuff like this occasionally… but you don’t have to. (3/10 – Bad)

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Justice League (2017)

November 20, 2017

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Mamoa, Henry Cavill
Director: Zack Snyder (Man Of Steel, Watchmen, Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice)

Bottom Line: I can’t believe it. I didn’t hate it. It’s a miracle! Seriously, I really thought I would never like Justice League. Zack Snyder already disappointed me beyond belief with his abysmal Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and I really thought the trailers for this movie looked like a total mess too. I had every expectation that it was going to suck and only a very small piece of me held out hope that it could be good.

I was so pleasantly surprised to enjoy this movie. I mean… it wasn’t amazing. It’s not going to crack my top 10 of 2017 and it’s not even in my top 3 superhero films of the year. But it didn’t suck! IT DIDN’T SUCK!!! YES!

All the members of the team get their moments to shine and the many concerns I had about Cyborg and Aquaman were quickly relieved. That’s not to say I’m looking forward to a Cyborg solo film – I really think that would do poorly – but he wasn’t cringe-worthy like I was expecting and I think he added to the film quite a bit. Jason Mamoa and Ezra Miller are great additions as Aquaman and The Flash, respectively.

Wonder Woman is still the star of this team. Gal Gadot is just perfect in that role and for whatever reason the filmmakers know how to make that character awesome.

I wish I could say the same for Batman. I like Affleck in the role, but in a lot of ways, I think Batman might be the weakest link in this crew – and it’s not because he’s a human being with no powers. Or maybe it is. A superhero like Batman worked amazingly well in the realistic world that Christopher Nolan crafted for his Dark Knight trilogy, but a movie like Justice League, which features heroes that can fly and aliens from other planets, well, Batman seems a little out of place. That seems to work just fine in an animated form, but something about seeing him involved in these crazy scenarios in live action form makes you think “maybe you should sit this one out, bud.” I dunno… maybe he will grow on me over time.

Justice League still has a really gloomy and grim setting, but there is a noticeable change in tone that adds quite a bit of humor and I think most of the jokes landed the laughs they were looking for. There are some great scenes involving Superman and Flash (weird… Superman returns – what a spoiler!) and another one with Wonder Woman’s lasso that you can’t help but think Joss Whedon added in post-production after Zack Snyder left the film due to a family tragedy. A little humor and charm certainly makes the movie far more enjoyable than its predecessor, which took itself so seriously it was almost comical.

Steppenwolf is the big baddie here and I’m honestly not familiar with him at all, despite watching the entire run of Justice League Unlimited and basically every animated film DC has released. Maybe I just missed him or forgot him, but I was pretty shocked when I heard a villain I’m completely unfamiliar with was who the JL would be battling in this movie. I thought he was okay. I guess he was believable as a formidable opponent for these superheroes, but there wasn’t anything particularly special or interesting about him.

All in all, I thought Justice League was a fun, but not great film. It certainly won’t convert anyone that’s anti-superhero movie, but it gives this fan of the genre hope for the DCEU going forward and it was honestly looking pretty grim last year. I am now looking forward to the next adventure. Bring on Darkseid!

Replay Value: I think I can enjoy this movie multiple times.
Sequel Potential: There are 19 movies in the pipeline for the DCEU at the moment, but only five of them have actual release dates and who knows how many of them will ever see the light of day. Aquaman comes out next year and Shazam! and Wonder Woman 2 are due out in 2019. A Justice League sequel will surely get made, but everything else DC has hinted at has to be taken with a grain of salt at this point.
Oscar Potential: None.

Grade: 6 (Recommended)

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So Many T.V. Shows!

October 24, 2017

Ratings
5 – Must Watch
4 – Good Stuff
3 – Decent
2 – Not Recommended
1 – Terrible

I’ve powered through a number of seasons of various T.V. series recently, but haven’t shared my thoughts yet, so here they are:

Game of Thrones, Season 7: The biggest event show on television is still must watch stuff. Season 7 featured a bit of ridiculousness (like, travelling to and fro is no longer an issue for anyone in Westeros – they might as well be apparating), but there were plenty of long awaited moments and lots to cheer about. It’s hard to say too much about this show without spoiling things, so I’ll just say I still find Thrones insanely entertaining and I can’t wait to see how they end this thing. 4.5/5

Iron Fist, Season 1: I hated it. Easily the worst of the Netflix Marvel series so far. The biggest problem is Finn Jones just has no charisma in the lead role and, as such, Danny Rand is not someone you can wholeheartedly root for. I really had to force myself to finish this season so I could watch… 1.5/5

The Defenders, Season 1: How could they mess this up? By making The Hand the main enemy, I guess. It’s fun seeing the four heroes interact with each other (although Iron Fist is still lame), but at the end of the day, the agenda of The Hand just doesn’t make any sense. I literally have no idea what the end game was for them. And who is Sigourney Weaver’s character? She’s the leader of The Hand and she’s supposed to be important, but we are never given any reason to fear her and have no idea why she’s in power. Certainly someone like Madam Gao seems a more formidable leader. Shrug. I thought this long awaited series was good for about four episodes and then it lost me completely. People that are going to watch are going to watch it anyway, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. 2/5

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: If you aren’t already familiar with this franchise you should acquaint yourself with the 2001 film and the Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp first. There are too many back stories and running jokes to fully appreciate this show if you haven’t seen the previous installments. I admittedly did not revisit the film first and I think it dampened my enjoyment ever so slightly. I kind of figured things out and remembered as the new story unfolded, but not having everything fresh didn’t make everything as funny as it should be – and it was still hilarious! Absolutely my kind of comedy, but certainly not for everyone. This shows gets pretty ridiculous and out there, but I’ve really enjoyed both series streaming on Netflix. 4/5

Gotham, Season 3: As a dedicated Batman fan, I can’t stop watching this series no matter how ridiculous or bad it gets. There are just so many things to complain about. To some degree, Bruce Wayne finally begins his actual transition into becoming The Batman, but most of his biggest villains are already fully formed – despite the fact that, traditionally, Batman is the reason his rogues gallery exists in the first place. There is a lot to gripe about but I’d like to highlight a couple of things: 1) So Jerome isn’t The Joker? I really liked Cameron Monoghan as Jerome even though his portrayal was a weeeeeeee bit over the top. I don’t understand how someone that looks and acts exactly like The Joker isn’t actually The Joker. The idea that the real Joker is someone paying homage to Jerome, or a copycat, really doesn’t sit right with me. 2) My goodness, how bad did they botch Mr. Freeze? He looks and sounds absolutely TERRIBLE, plus they turned a formidable anti-villain with a tragic back story and turned him into… Penguin’s lackey? 3) This season has a Penguin-Riddler love story. No joke. 2/5

Better Call Saul, Season 2: Creator Vince Gilligan (also responsible for Breaking Bad) is truly a master. I wasn’t really sold on a Saul Goodman spinoff when I first heard about it, but both seasons of the show have been stellar. The show has amazingly rich character development and plenty of fun call backs to Breaking Bad. Arguably the best show currently airing right now, I can’t wait to watch season 3 and be all caught up. 5/5

Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Season 1: This series picks up 30 years after the events of Evil Dead 2 (I think it ignores Army Of Darkness) with Bruce Campbell reprising his role of zombie/demon slayer Ash Williams. The first season is hilarious, spectacularly gory, and wildly entertaining. Ash picks up a couple of compadres on his quest this time around and they are admittedly still growing on me but at least they give someone for Ash to verbally spar with. This isn’t genius stuff here, but it’s definitely something fans of horror and the original franchise will love. 4/5

Shameless, Season 2: This show is wild, and dirty, but it’s also a lot of fun. The Gallaghers are a crazy bunch and everyone has plenty of flaws, but they somehow still come across quite lovable. I still don’t understand Fiona’s interest in Steve/Jimmy though. It really makes no sense to me. Season 2 is still pretty grounded but I have strong suspicions this show is going to get totally bonkers, to the point of completely unbelievably. Here’s to hoping it keeps its heart and doesn’t turn every single character into a total scoundrel. 3.5/5

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The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

February 14, 2017

Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Chris McKay

Bottom Line: The LEGO Batman Movie is a fun spin-off from the surprisingly touching and brilliant The LEGO Movie of 2014. This film takes Will Arnett’s Batman and plants him firmly in Gotham City, where the Caped Crusader is a celebrated vigilante that basks in his glory while in the limelight but returns to his lonely cave beneath Wayne manor where his loyal butler Alfred and The BatComputer are his only true friends in the world.

Most of the plot in this movie revolves around Batman’s longstanding rivalry with The Joker and how he downplays that relationship and makes The Joker feel unimportant, so Joker tries to unravel a scheme that will prove he is, in fact, Batman’s greatest rival.

The LEGO Batman Movie is definitely nonstop fun and will have most people laughing throughout its entire running time, but it’s not nearly as emotionally captivating as The LEGO Movie was, and probably not as funny either.

Still, it’s not going to disappoint true BatFans. There are plenty of callbacks to Batman’s previous film appearances and his rogues gallery is as well represented as it can possibly be, with all his most prominent enemies (and some totally obscure ones) getting a moment or two in the spotlight.

Will Arnett and Michael Cera are perfect casting as Batman and Robin, giving hysterical vocal performances. The rest of the cast is pretty good too, with one exception, and it’s a pretty critical one: Zach Galifianakis made for a surprisingly subdued and boring Joker. There were moments where I thought I liked the direction he was taking things, but ultimately, I found myself a little disappointed with how straight forward his portrayal was – this Joker is lacking in energy and flair.

As a huge Batman fan and a big fan of The Lego Movie, I had hefty expectations for this movie and it didn’t really disappoint. It’s definitely 90 minutes of fun, but it’s missing that extra layer of depth that turns a merely good movie into a special one. Still, The LEGO Batman Movie is a worthy spin-off and should make for a fun time for all ages.

Replay Value: Most things Batman are a must own for me.
Sequel Potential: The Lego Movie sequel is scheduled for 2019 and would likely feature Batman again. This movie made over $50 million its first weekend and should have some decent legs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets its own sequel.
Oscar Potential: A Best Animated Feature contender only and it’s far too early to know how competitive that category will be.

Grade: 6.5/10 (recommended/highly enjoyable)

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

December 19, 2016

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight)

Bottom Line: It’s taken me nearly four years to come to terms with this film. Back in 2012, leading up to The Dark Knight Rises‘ release, my expectations were through the roof and unrealistic – and yet they weren’t. I had similar feelings about The Dark Knight and somehow Christopher Nolan managed to exceed my impossible expectations by making what is still what I consider to be the best superhero film ever – a film so good it changed how The Oscars approached the Best Picture category, increasing the number of films that could be nominated in the future.

But when I walked out of The Dark Knight Rises all I felt was a tremendous amount of disappointment. I was thrown by the fact the film took place eight years after The Dark Knight. It seemed like Batman was barely in the movie, which was fine in Batman Begins when Bruce Wayne is discovering his calling, but I wanted more Dark Knight in this. I suspected that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were secretly cast as Talia Al’Ghul and Robin, respectively, long before the film’s release, so even though the Nolans do a good job of misdirecting, I wasn’t surprised in the least when the true identities were revealed. Finally, I hated the fact that Bruce Wayne becomes a shut in because his friend/love interest Rachel died. Let me get this straight: the man that pushes himself to the brink of human capabilities to protect his city from the kind of people that murdered his parents is going to disappear from society and whittle away in his mansion because his girlfriend died? For eight years?! During his peak crime-fighting years?! Uh, no. That’s not Batman. It’s such a departure from the character of Bruce Wayne that it’s difficult to shake.

But it’s been four years since The Dark Knight Rises came out and I’ve seen it a few times since then, including as recently as a week ago and well, it’s not so bad. In fact, it’s quite good. I mean there are some flaws – as previously noted – plus some intense magical rope healing (huh?), but I actually really enjoyed this last viewing of it. It  wraps up Christopher Nolan’s trilogy in great fashion, bringing the League Of Shadows back into the mix and allowing Bruce to move on with his life, while allowing The Batman to remain a symbol of hope in Gotham. I can live with the lack of Batman on screen in the film now too. It fits the story. Christopher Nolan has been more interested in making great films than in making a good superhero movie and he continues to approach his Dark Knight series in that fashion with this movie. It’s an incredibly bleak film, but the big theme is hope – first crushing it and then rising up from the abyss to overcome. Batman doesn’t need to be on screen because he’s retired when the film starts and then he’s beaten to a pulp in the middle of it – and that makes his ultimate return that much more powerful.

I absolutely loved Tom Hardy’s Bane. Heath Ledger’s Joker was always going to be impossible to match, but Bane is a GREAT villain in this film. There are some corny moments, like making Talia Al’Ghul a love interest, but Bane is mostly just awesome. I love the mask. I love the physique.  I love the way Hardy delivers his dialogue – and there’s plenty of great Bane quotes in the movie: “Peace time has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you!” – “Do you feel in charge?” – “Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it.” And many more! He’s smart. He’s ruthless. He’s a physical beast. You believe an out of shape Batman would stand no chance and you wonder how Batman can match him, even when he’s back in peak form. I would have loved to see what Nolan did with The Riddler or even Hugo Strange, but I’m totally satisfied with how he handled Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

Okay, so it wasn’t surprising that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is revealed to be “Robin,” plus the character isn’t Dick Grayson or any other familiar name that takes up the Robin mantle, but Gordon-Levitt’s Detective John Blake was a great addition to this story. When everyone else has given up on Batman, this orphan turned police officer knows his true identity and pushes Bruce back into action. Plus he gets to say some great lines like “We know what’s down there, sir: the police commissioner.” He may not be Dick Grayson and his parents weren’t murdered at the circus, but it’s clear that the Nolans understand the essence of the character.

I listened to Hans Zimmer’s score many times before I saw the movie, which is pretty weird actually. You can sort of paint a picture of how things are going to unfold by listening to the score in sequential order. I mean that’s how obsessed with this movie I was. I just couldn’t resist the temptation. So when I heard the music that was playing during the scene where Batman was flying the bomb out over the bay, you get the feeling that someone important is going to die. It was just a bizarre feeling watching the movie having heard all the music already and having an idea what was going to happen. I won’t ever do it again. With that said, I love the score. Zimmer does a fantastic job of adding adrenaline to the film, especially during Bane’s reign of terror.

A few weeks ago, The Dark Knight Rises was omitted from my top 10 of 2012 list, while films like 21 Jump Street and Skyfall were still ahead of it. Having revisited the movie and deciding I’m actually quite happy with it, it now ranks in my top six of the year. The film has solid acting from its ensemble cast (Bale’s Bat-voice excluded), a great villain, a top notch score, a bunch of dialogue I love, and it looks fantastic – plus it’s a very fitting end to the vision Nolan had for his Bat-franchise. It’s one of the best trilogies of all-time, right up there with The Lord Of The Rings and the original Star Wars movies. When you talk about the best superhero movies ever, Nolan’s Batman movies will always be some of the first ones mentioned, but really, this series has produced multiple great films – not just great for a superhero movie – but some of the best films ever made.

Replay Value: It has grown on me a ton and I can always watch Batman movies.
Sequel Potential: They wrapped this trilogy up just fine, but the Batman character has been revived for DC’s new cinematic universe.
Oscar Potential: The film was totally blanked for both Oscar and Golden Globe noms, which seems a bit unfair as some of the technical aspects and the score are deserving of consideration.

Grade: 7.5/10 (highly enjoyable/must see)

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Suicide Squad (2016)

August 17, 2016

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis
Director: David Ayer (Fury, End Of Watch)

Bottom Line: Suicide Squad is a pretty good example of how the Rotten Tomatoes rating system can be misleading: at 27%, you might expect this to be terrible… it’s not. What a 27% rating really means is that roughly 3 out of 4 critics thought Suicide Squad wasn’t a good movie and, well, it’s not. But it’s not really a bad one either. It’s just a simple, fun action/comedy that does a decent job of lightening up the overly grim DCU film universe.

Margot Robbie is perfect casting as The Joker’s sweetheart Harley Quinn. She not only looks the part, but she plays Harley with the requisite blend of crazy/sexy/funny. Speaking of The Joker, Jared Leto does a remarkable job as the notable Batman villain; a tough taska considering Heath Ledger won an Oscar for the iconic role less than a decade ago. Leto’s Joker looks and sounds like a comic book villain – he’s totally nuts and over-the-top both in appearance and in his actions. The surprise of the cast is Will Smith as Deadshot. When I heard that casting, I raised an eyebrow in doubt, but Smith is easily one of the film’s highlights. If there’s any emotional resonance in the film, it’s with Smith’s Deadshot.

What didn’t work so well was the main antagonist in the film. It’s not The Joker as some might expect, it’s The Enchantress – and she’s terribly lame. Much like Zack Snyder’s awful light show conclusion to Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad’s finale is equally as bad, with lots of in-your-face visual effects, laughable dialogue, and a cringe worthy performance from Cara Delevingne.

Ultimately, Suicide Squad has some working elements – particularly the cast and the tone – but a poor choice in main villain and another terrible DCU third act make the film pretty mediocre. Still, if you come in with tempered expectations – and there’s no reason you shouldn’t – Suicide Squad is a fun movie.

Replay Value: Leto and Robbie make the movie worth watching again, but this isn’t something I’ll snap buy on bluray.
Sequel Potential: Harley Quinn is getting her own movie, which is great news. Leto’s Joker will surely have more appearances in the future. There’s a better movie to be made with the squad and with over $200M in box office receipts, we will probably get a chance to see it.
Oscar Potential: None

Grade: 5/10 (Watchable)

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Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

April 18, 2016

Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jessie Eisenberg, Amy Adams
Director: Zack Snyder (Man Of Steel, Watchmen, 300)

Bottom Line: What a mess. I knew this movie was in trouble from the first time I saw the Doomsday reveal in one of the trailers. I was on board with Ben Affleck as Batman and I loved the Jessie Eisenberg casting as Lex Luthor, but that first full trailer had me squirming uncomfortably – it looked like Zack Snyder was going to ruin everything by bloating the action with visual effects, explosions, lasers and fire. This was not a finale I was looking forward to.

And I wanted to so much. Even though the previews looked mediocre to me, as a humongous Batman fan, I was still dreaming that this movie could be everything it should be. It’s not. And it’s even worse than you think it’s going to be.

It’s been nearly a month since I saw it and, honestly, I can remember very little about it, but I can still distinctly taste the displeasure I experienced while watching it. There were numerous moments where I looked at my buddy like “is this really happening right now.” From a Batman origin vignette to a neverending – and painful (like phsyically) – conclusion, and everything in between, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was a wild disappointment.

It’s easier for me to pinpoint the things I did like than for me to list all the stuff I hated. Ben Affleck is a good Batman and I could see a great film being built around this version of The Dark Knight, but it’s not this one. Still, Affleck did a good job and I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a role he has in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was a pleasant surprise as I was worried about how she would fit into the story and whether or not she could even play the role. She’s great and this Wonder Woman is awesome. Again, looking forward to the Wonder Woman movie.

What I’m not looking forward to are the Justice League movies. This was such a botch job that if Zack Snyder has any involvement with those movies (he’s currently slated to direct them both) other than a relatively hands off producing role, I just can’t imagine they are going to be any good. The thought scares me. It is truly incredible that DC Comics can be this far behind Marvel in both quantity and quality. But I can promise one thing, if they continue letting Snyder be in the driver’s seat, they are in trouble.

I hated Doomsday. He looks terrible. He’s about as indistinguishable as a troll in the first Harry Potter movie. And how did he come to be? Don’t ask. Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? Unbelievably awful. He spends the entire movie playing the role so frivolously that you never really take him seriously. He wants to be Heath Ledger’s Joker, but he comes across more like Jim Carrey’s Edward Nygma before he becomes The Riddler. There are a bunch of dream sequences that are supposed to foreshadow upcoming events (I think), but they are jarring and take you out of the movie – Bruce Wayne even has a dream within a dream sequence. What. I really like the look of Henry Cavill as Superman, but his role in this movie is really disappointing. The showdowns with Batman are kind of cool, but kind of cool doesn’t really cut it for Batman Vs. Superman.

Geez, I probably can’t tell people not to watch this movie. They are going to anyway. And if you’re going to watch it, you might as well watch it on the big screen… but it’s not good. I’ve heard a number of people say they enjoyed the movie and I can’t understand it at all. It was a huge let down and it was absurdly BORING. The last 45 minutes felt like it dragged forever. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. At best, this movie was totally forgettable… at worst, it was horrible.

Replay Value: My initial thought was I’d never watch it again and that’s hard to believe. This a freaking BATMAN movie. I’ll watch it again, but… only because I have to – it’s who I am.
Sequel Potential: All the JLA members are getting solo adventures and the whole crew will be teaming up for two Justice League movies.
Oscar Potential: None.

Grade: 3.5/10 (Just Skip It/Forgettable)