Batman v. Superman : Review

I was ready to love Batman v. Superman.

I was ready to be “that guy” that defends it against the towering waves of vitriol and hatred. I wanted to be soapbox geek who explained the film’s inherent worth the way I do as an impassioned anime fan or someone who thinks that Ghostbusters 2 is a good movie. I wanted to be the bleeding heart fanboy pumping his fist against the masses.

Batman v. Superman wouldn’t let me.

The opening sequence is a pulse-quickening retelling of Man of Steel’s ending (another movie I defended despite it’s flaws) through the eyes of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. The scene works, we see Bruce Wayne as a man in fear of dissolution and death as he runs through the smoke of crumbling buildings, desperately searching for any survivors trapped in the building that bears his namesake. Holding a newly orphaned crying child in his arms his looks up to see the source of desolation to see a blurry red-caped figure flung through sky scrapers like a finger running through faucet water. It’s a powerful opening and gives us enough reason to believe that Bruce, or Batman, might begin to distrust and even fear Superman.

Unfortunately the momentum is immediately lost.

We’re whisked away from the panic into a muddled, pseudo-political conspiracy thread in a desert war-zone. Lois goes from interviewing a terrorist to being attacked, then attacked again, then quickly saved by Superman. The scene ends almost immediately after Superman pummels a terrorist into paste.  Nothing beyond his brief rescue mission is depicted and yet, for some puzzling reason, this is the moment that the Synder has decided to obsess upon for the rest of the movie and the very issue that Batman uses to push his anti-Supes agenda. By the time you discover that other players were involved in the attack you barely have enough energy left to shrug your shoulders.

The other threads are tangled into a series of barely connected sequences meant to introduce Jesse Eisenberg’s very Jesse Eisenberg take on the calm, stoic Lex Luthor, who babbles on like a Comic Con attendee on Red Bull and Ritalin. Much time is spent with between this charmless character and Bruce Wayne, who is busy having multiple dream sequences, flashbacks, flash-forwards (maybe?) and hallucinations. All of these moments seem to want to replace Marvel’s infamous end-credit tags, hoping desperately to salivate a DC fan for future movie installments.  Instead, these moments leave the audience to audibly ask what they just saw and disrupt an already poorly constructed, convoluted plot.

-and what of Superman? The movie spends less time with Clark’s alter-ago, who desperately needs some good writing and strong screen time, than any of the other main characters. Any time comic books or DC is discussed, some genius always wants to announce their unique and special proclamation that “Superman sucks”, “Superman is boring”, “I hate Superman”. This movie doesn’t even bother to help change any minds. While Grant Morrison and Frank Miller have produced powerful and intriguing depictions of the Kryptonion kid on paper, Goyer and Terrio fail to make him any more than a high school kid who would rather pout in his locker and listen to Linkin Park than someone who we’d want to cheer and root for. By the time his climactic ending occurs, you will struggle to care.

It’s not without it’s moments. The performers are giving everything they can to make the movie work. Amy Adams brings humanity, Jeremy Irons is a quick wit as Alfred, Affleck is a shockingly functional Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot is a kick-ass, battle-hungry Wonder Woman. The fight scenes, though few and far between, are delicious candy. Choreography is tight, you feel every super-powered punch and the “shaky cam” found in most movies like this is absent. You’ll chomp through these action tidbits all too quickly and wish you had more. The Batman warehouse scene alone proves that we need a Ben Affleck Batman movie…but maybe he needs to be the one in the director chair this time around.

1-8

Maybe it’s unfair to blame Synder. With the very forced Justice League cameos and easter eggs, there is a very corporate sense that Warner is desperately trying to catch up with 8 years of Marvel movies within 2+ hours. Though it took Marvel several films to give us that glorious shot of the fully assembled team, it was earned and we can at least look back on 2008’s Iron Man as a legitimately great comic book movie. Batman v. Superman’s money shot was not earned. It was manufactured and vacuum-sealed overnight.

Sorry DC fans. Maybe next time they’ll get it right.

First look at Spider-man in the new Civil War trailer!!


Here he is, the official Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-man, in all his glory!


Played by newcomer Tom Holland, this new Spider-man makes his first appearance in the new Captain America: Civil War thanks to a new agreement with Sony Pictures that lets them retain solo-movie rights while still allowing the character to appear in the Avengers universe.

What do you think?

Tickets are on sale now at Fandango

Here’s what the new Ducktales series will look like!

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Disney

Disney just dropped this beauty on Twitter earlier today.

Last year I reported that Disney had announced an all-new Ducktales animated series wherein they expected the full voice cast of the 1980’s original to make a return.  Things have remained quiet until earlier today when Disney released the first official still of the upcoming series on Twitter.  Unlike the original cel-animated “Disney Afternoon” series, this rendition seems to be aiming for more of a hand-drawn look that recalls the 1950’s comics by Carl Banks.

Ducktales is still scheduled for a 2017 premiere but if you want to whet your appetite, take a look at some of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons by Paul Ruddish (Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls).  They merge a classic Disney feel with the wit and insanity of the modern Cartoon Network fare (think Adventure Time meets Disney).  Some of the shorts include appearances by Goofy, Donald and Ducktales own Scrooge McDuck, who is still voiced by 97 year-old Alan Young!!

Season 1 of the new Mickey Mouse cartoon is only $7.50 on Amazon Prime!

Grab the first season of Ducktales for less than $10!

The original 1980’s Ninja Turtles are back in this new special!!

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Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon’s surprisingly effective modern incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will return to the past in “Transdimentional Turtles”, a new special airing on the kid’s network later this month.

Voice actors of the current series Seth Green (Leonardo), Sean Astin (Raphael), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo) and will be sharing screen time with the voice actors of the wildly successful 80’s cartoon.  Unlike the previous crossover special, the original cast will all be present this time including Cam Clarke (Leonardo), Barry Gordon (Donatello), Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo) and Rob Paulsen as both classic Raphael and modern Donatello.

If you think the 80’s turtles look bizarre in the modern CG style, take a look at the footage below (courtesy of IGN).  …they almost look like Disney World mascots with animatronic heads.

The episode is scheduled to air on Sunday, March 27th at 11am ET/PT. 

Season 1 DVD of the new Ninja Turtles is only $24.99 on Amazon Prime