Reviews

‘Mortal Kombat’ Review

The definition of a mixed bag. Mortal Kombat doesn’t come without its flaws, but overall a solid foundation for what’s to possibly come.

MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.

Everyone remembers their first fatality. It was almost a right of passage for any young gamer. Mortal Kombat has been part of our lives for a long long time and people have been clamoring for a suitable live-action adaption of this beloved franchise. Fans waited almost 25 years since the colossal disaster that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation for another shot at immortality and to be crowned the winner of the ultimate tournament. When the first trailer dropped, jaws hit the floor because this promised to be bloody and brutal and after seeing the film, some of those promises were kept, but we got a small taste of what could be a very fun new franchise.

Fans are divided, some are happy with the finished product and others wanted more. The characters we all love are present and some stick out more than others and we get that solid R rating that showcased some awesome gore and unforgettable fatalities. I just felt that what we got was satisfying but in the smallest possible way. Seeing all the characters look amazing, most notably Kabal (Daniel Nelson) Jax (Mehcad Brooks), and the cousins Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Kung Lao (Max Huang). The show stealing Kano (Josh Lawson) who legit steals almost every scene he is in. Points in my books for all of his popular culture references and his dirty Aussie mouth. That’s a guy I would hang out with. His comedy was something that everyone is talking about and something that almost carries the film when it felt a little slow. His BFF Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) is a worthy advisory for Kano and they worked really well together. Even the new addition of Cole Young (Lewis Tan) works. Being a new character in the lore of MK I would have liked a little more backstory and character development for him, but hopefully, we get that in the future.

The two superstars of the franchise; Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) really kick off the movie with a pretty terrific first ten minutes. We came for a few showdowns between the two and we get exactly that. They look amazing and really got the sense they enjoyed playing these characters. Sub-Zero is probably the coolest character in the movie because I felt like his powers were on display the most and HELLO – he freezes and breaks Jax’s arms off like a pair of toothpicks. Looking forward to seeing these two fight in the near future.

Now, on to the things that just didn’t work for me. In a movie called Mortal Kombat we want brutal fights. Yes, we get some gruesome fatalities but the fights themselves seemed rushed and not impactful enough, we wanted to see some brutality to these things and that just wasn’t the case. Feeling the weight of punches and these characters feeling a little more human and less superhuman. Also, I’ve never been a fan of quick cut editing and that’s all that’s happening during these fights. Let’s get some long drawn-out edits for our fights for the sequel, something that feels more a fight and less than a montage. Another letdown was the leaders of Outworld and Earth Realm. Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Shang Tsung (Chin Han) were weak. Barley having anything to do and we didn’t even get to see them throw down. Sure, we get the classic soul-suck from Shang Tsung but at the end of the day, these are two massively important characters that felt so bland. King Goro himself, who was a massive upgrade from ‘95, was WASHED! He didn’t even have a speaking part or a scene to explain who the heck he was for people who don’t know the character. Sure, he was amazing to look at, but he’s King Goro, put some respect on his name. Now, he will be back for the sequel, or at least I think he will be.

Overall, I think Mortal Kombat was solid enough to warrant a sequel. Things need to change, maybe find a new director and better writers. Simon McQuiod might have bit off a little more than he can chew. Being his first major studio movie, it felt that way with some of the decisions being made. Look, we had to wait over two decades for a new movie, this isn’t a hot commodity and I do think there were more positives than negatives, but the negatives perhaps outweigh those positives.

I’m excited for what this franchise could be. With the right direction behind it, fixing the mistakes and listening to the criticisms from fans. There’s a bunch of good ingredients here, they just need to find the right recipe. We should know pretty quickly if we will be getting a sequel within the next few years. Hope we do.

I’ll leave it on this. When a man uses a hat as a buzzsaw to cut someone in half, obviously I’m going to enjoy that movie.

Mortal Kombat = 71/100

 

 

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Mortal Kombat’

We are a week out from Mortal Kombat coming back into our lives. So I decided to review the 1995 movie and see if it lives up to the nostalgia hype.

15 Things I Just Learned About the 1995 Mortal Kombat Movie – We Minored in Film

Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.
Release Date. August 18th, 1995. Director. Paul W.S Anderson. Box-Office. 122.2 Million
This movie kind of gets you amped up and ready to go from the very get-go. The epic and I mean epic opening intro, you know – MORTAL KOMBAT! At the time movies that had been based on video games didn’t have the best track record, hell they still don’t. Even 26 years later, this is still regarded as one of the best video game movie adaptations of all time. I’m not sure if that’s saying a lot or saying very little.
I’ll say this, the movie is fun. It’s 26 years old, clearly, the movie will feel very ’90s, and since then the lore and mythology and love for all things MK has only grown. We were dealing with an IP that was still kind of a baby. That being said, in everything we get, I do feel like there was a real heart behind this project. Just at this time, studios didn’t want to pour a ton of movies into a video game movie film.
Personally, the casting is almost flawless. Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), Raiden (Christopher Lambert), and Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) couldn’t be more perfect in their respected roles. I think that’s what really drives this movie forward because without proper casting we all know what happens – I’m looking at you MK Annihilation (which I won’t be reviewing). The only characters that needed to be properly cast and flushed out were Scorpion and Sub-Zero. At the time, they looked cool but they are almost meant to be low-level side characters and they are anything but that. The new movie looks to revolve around them and their history, so we will have come a long way from them being very disposable.
The fights feel like 1995 fight scenes, nothing special but some very memorable moments. Most notably Johnny Cage versus both Scorpion and Goro. Probably the highlight of the film, great one-liners and at the time Goro was King Shit. That will be one of the bummers from the new movie the absences of Johnny Cage and it will be interesting to see if maybe he shows up during a post-credit stinger.
We can’t really talk about this without blessing Robin Shou because he is the embodiment of Liu Kang. His incredible flow, his awesome moves, and the fact he was the only big three cast member to come back. It would be great if some of these OG cast members popped up in the new MK, I guess we will know soon enough.
The film works, it’s got some great set pieces, a fun cast, and some enjoyable fight sequences. It’s aged pretty well and as far as video game movies go, it’s near the top of the list. It set the bar pretty high in the ’90s.
Memorable and hasn’t been forgotten. Mortal Kombat showed fans what could be done with video game properties and we have waited well over two decades for the next chance to see these beloved characters in action. I can’t wait for the new movie to drop, GET OVER HERE!
Mortal Kombat = 68/100
Reviews

New ‘F9’ Trailer is Wild!

Strap in folks, the fast team is heading to space

Fast and Furious 9': Official Title and First Trailer - Variety

One of the most remarkable achievements in cinema is the Fast & The Furious franchise. It started as a semi ripoff of Point Break, only to evolve and become one of the biggest and most successful movie franchises we have ever seen. This is installment nine people, and it looks like there’s really no slowing down for Dom and his family.

Speaking of Dom, he is a full-on superhero now. No one and I mean no one would be shocked if he shot laser beams out of his eyes at some point. That’s what makes these movies so unique and so much fun. Remove your brain from your skull before you walk into the theatre because there’s no critical thinking here, it’s all about fun. These are blockbusters, and they are here to stay.

One thing this franchise knows how to do is reinvent itself. They added Dwayne Johnson when the franchise felt stale and he injected his charisma and charm and turned this whole thing around. Now they are adding another wrestler turned actor with John Cena. He looks like trouble and doesn’t seem to have a hard time buying into the Fast cheese.

The trailer is straight-up insane, with so many crazy things going on, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. But fans have always teased that the team would go to space, and the last 15 seconds of this trailer certainly teases that premise. What’s not to love, everyone involved is having so much fun, there’s no reason we all shouldn’t do the same. The assembled cast is one of the best in movies right now, and what this franchise promises are twists and no one is ever truly dead.

They would be fools not to bring back Gal Gadot at this point.

Reviews

New ‘Black Widow’ Trailer

We journey through Black Widows past, present, and future in the newest trailer.

Marvel's Black Widow movie postponed due to coronavirus - CNET

The world has been chomping at the bit for the next MCU movie. It’s been almost 2 years since Spider-Man Far From Home released and everyone wants some Black Widow action. The latest MCU shows have been filling the void for the most part but everyone wants just a little bit more. Enter the Black Widow. We all know how this all plays out, but filling in some gaps of her story is something fans have wanted for almost a decade. We might finally find out exactly what happened in Budapest!

Learning more about Romanoff’s life and most importantly her family will be the backbone of this story. Does her little sister played by Florence Pugh take up the mantle in present-day at the end of this? Only time will tell. The trailer is more of the same, great looks at everyone involved, especially Task-Master the film’s villain. The Jack of all trades apparently, displaying skills from a ton of Natasha’s teammates. He’s unique and could be a worthy foe for the Romanoff family.

It’s been pushed back and delayed more than we can count but it finally looks like Black Widow is locked into place and we will all be enjoying it soon enough!

Movies are back!

Reviews

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Review

The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. The King of the jungle vs the Ruler of the seas. Fight night. Let me tell you, it lived up to the hype. Godzilla vs Kong is good old fashion fun.

Godzilla vs Kong Box Office Opening Day Breaks Pandemic Records – /Film The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

When people ask me why I love going to the movies so much, it for movies like Godzilla vs Kong, it’s why we go to the movies. Movies like this should be experienced on the biggest screen possible, with the volume so high it almost hurts your ears. I’m so happy I got to watch this in IMAX, the first movie I have been able to watch in a theatre since July and only the second movie I have seen since the pandemic began. I was like a kid on Christmas watching two of the meanest and biggest monsters this world has to offer throw down.

We revisit the Monster-Verse that start all the way back in 2014 when the first Godzilla came out and things have grown immensely since. Here we are almost a decade later and the fate of the world is being decided by the biggest showdown we have ever seen. Two titans and rightful rulers in their own minds. Have decided it’s time to settle this debate of who is the alpha dog once and for all. When you walk into a movie that is titled Godzilla vs Kong, well, you want it to live up to its name and the movie does just that. The movie wants you no matter the age to feel like a kid again, we all did it, smash our action figures together, pretending it was the biggest battle of all time. Now we are seeing it play out in real-time. Because when the action hits, it’s just simply breathtaking. I can’t stress enough how gorgeous the fight sequences were. The use of color, the surrounding landscape, the fight choreography which was the biggest boost from previous movies, makes it all so enjoyable. We are talking about a massive jump in quality between the fights in King of The Monsters and this, it was blowing my mind. Director Adam Wingard knows what we want to see. The fights are clean and crisp, you can tell exactly what is going on and the use of POV shots and the immense power during some sequences is the best of that stature since Pacific Rim. The last 20 mins are some of the best-looking movie footage I have ever seen on the big screen and I can’t even imagine what movies are going to look like in 10 years.

Like always, the biggest flaws of these movies are the none essential human characters. These movies always have them and it’s what grinds the fans gears the most. It’s difficult at least right now to have a movie of this size and proportion without the help of some human interactions and plot. I think they are okay and don’t weigh the movie down too much, but again, the problem isn’t the human characters, is just there are always 3 or 4 too many of them. Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown return as the heads of Team Godzilla, while they had Bryan Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison to their roster. I’ll focus on their team because right away, I love Kyle Chandler but he’s so underused to the point he didn’t need to be in the movie. He adds nothing and it’s just a prime example of screen time wasted on one human character where we want more Kong or Godzilla. Now for Team Kong, we get an all-new team of Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, and the stand-out of the human side of things Kaylee Hottle. She plays Jia a deaf survivor of the Skull Island tribe who is Kong’s friend and communicator. I didn’t even mention any of the evil humans that round out the cast, Eiza Gonzalez, Shun Oguri, and Demain Bichir who all felt a little too cartoonish. Eiza Gonzalez who I love is another character we could have done without. Is the plot a tad silly? Of course it is, but it’s a movie about a giant monkey and a giant lizard kicking the living shit out of each other, what do you expect?

When you have a movie with a versus in the title that usually means one shall reign supreme. Would I say there is a winner here? Yes. But I would also say that gets tossed out the window about 5 mins later. Remember there is another monster lurking in the shadows awaiting both of our titans. Where the Monster-Verse goes from here remains unclear, but I think this was a jolt of lightning the franchise needed because this thing even with the pandemic going on is going to be a success.

Overall, Godzilla vs Kong is all the hoopla you would want from such a movie. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s fun and most of all it looks beautiful. Clearly, some changes might have been made after King of The Monsters, but Adam Wingard really encompassed what makes both of these characters special. Pays respect to the past while embracing the future.

Just remember Kong bows to no one.

Godzilla vs Kong = 87/100

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Godzilla’

With Godzilla vs. Kong releasing, let’s travel back to the movie that kicked off this Monster-Verse, with the almighty Godzilla.

The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.

Remember a time when Godzilla just wasn’t part of our lives? At least not here in North America, going 16 years without a major Godzilla movie to hit theatres. Times had changed. This wasn’t the 90’s and the last time this iconic monster was on screen, let’s just say, it was quite forgettable. In fact, the Roland Emmerich take on Godzilla was flat-out embarrassing. The world needed a new and fresh take that felt a little more this century.

In comes Gareth Edwards who knew a thing or two about making a monster movie. Not only was he bringing in one of the biggest monsters this world has ever seen but coming along for the ride was at that time, the biggest thing on TV – Bryan Cranston. I remember it like it was yesterday, Bryan Cranston screaming “it’s going to bring us back to the Stone Age!” During the first teaser trailer for the film. The marketing was off to a flying start because we thought it was going to be Walter White vs. Godzilla. We all know that’s not what we ended up getting but none the less seeing Cranston in this movie was incredible to see, just wish he would have become a major player in this Monster-Verse.

Instead, we got the Maximoff twins. Aaron Tyler-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen headlined this movie and for me, they have been some of the best human characters this universe has had to offer. Johnson’s stoic performance where he was a soldier who happened to be a jack of all trades – is another character you wish you saw again. Taking part in the “halo jump” sequence which is to this day arguably the best scene this franchise has to offer.

Gareth Edwards takes a play out of Steven Spielberg’s playbook by teasing us for the majority of the film with the creatures. Much like Jaws, it isn’t until the end where we finally get to see Godzilla in all of his glory and the suspense and build-up works so well in Edwards’s favor. He is a sight to behold and it wouldn’t be right to introduce us to him so early in the film. Because once the film gets going and especially in the third act, when the violence starts – it hits hard. I’ll never forget that noise, you know, the sound of Godzilla building up is legendary Atomic Breath. Watching him shoot that into the MUTO’s mouth is something every movie fan will never forget, what a moment!

Unlike the next installment, this doesn’t feel so bogged down by the character development because it felt so needed. Like I mentioned it takes a while for us to even see Godzilla, this isn’t the sequel where that mystique and suspense is still lingering. They seem essential to the plot and at this time they are unsure if Godzilla is friend or foe. I really liked Tyler-Johnson and Olsen in their roles, I know some people will disagree but they just felt so grounded, with King of The Monsters everyone felt like a comic-book character. Speaking in one-liners and just being either disposable or filling their cliche role.

Overall, I think Godzilla reminded us what we can have with these types of movies and where the genre was going. Pacific Rim, Kong: Skull Island and King of The Monsters really show just how great these movies can look. It’s difficult to put it all together. The special effects are something to behold and I’m excited to see how Godzilla vs Kong expands this universe and how Adam Wingard will bring his own sense of style to this franchise. Godzilla remains a great larger-than-life monster movie filled with good performances and some unforgettable movie-going moments.

Godzilla = 84/100

Reviews

New ‘Spiral’ Trailer

The next installment of the Saw universe appears to breathe new into this long and forgotten franchise.

Spiral Tempts Chris Rock in New Image from Saw Sequel

Spiral, a movie that perhaps was lost among the pandemic, now has everyone’s attention with the newest trailer. For a franchise that became more of a parody on itself, I think it’s time we take this movie seriously.

Just by watching this trailer, you can clearly tell this has perhaps the best cinematography in the entire franchise. It looks beautiful and we have some real actors having actual performances, something the last few Saw movies were definitely lacking.

(Barrett) Chris Rock and (Marcus) Samuel L Jackson are a father-son duo with a complicated history. The driving force of the movie, Rock is giving his best performance in a long time. The thing about this new trailer is that it keeps you guessing. Barrett can’t trust anyone and neither would you with everything that’s going on. We are in the world of Jigsaw so expect the unexpected, one great thing about his trailer that will ultimately lead into the movie, it keeps you guessing and on your toes.

Saw fans will rejoice that we are getting a new and what looks like an improved look at the franchise. Bring on the games.

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Godzilla: King of The Monsters’ Review

My most anticipated turned into my most hated movie of that year.

The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collided with Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.


Talk about your all-time letdown. I had this number one on my most anticipated list, and quite frankly it wasn’t even close. When the first trailer dropped for Michael Dougherty’s follow-up to the 2014 Godzilla my breath was taken away. It was one of the most beautiful movie trailers I’d ever seen. The mixture of gorgeous visuals and scored by the emotional Clair De Lune, I couldn’t get enough of it. I couldn’t believe that we were finally going to get the Godzilla film I’ve always wanted. Hard-hitting action, incredible actors, and larger-than-life Monsters, that would make Guillermo Del Toro proud. By the looks of the trailer, the Titans as they are called would come to life in ways we couldn’t even imagine, and they all looked so flawless in design. Everything leading up to it, the marketing, the trailers, the images, made me believe this would be truly special. In fact, I love monster movies so much, this had the potential to be one of my favorite monster movies of all time. After about an hour, I knew we had a complete disaster on our hands. Everything good that happens in this movie, lasts for no longer than 15 seconds. Whether that’s some incredible visuals or action. It just doesn’t last and is immediately drowned out by one of our incessant human characters.

Looking back, there are so many similarities between BvS and Godzilla, the religious mythos, larger-than-life icons finally coming together on the big screen, both bloated with too much plot. I can see parallels everywhere between them. But I have recently come around to BVS and appreciate it so much more than when it first hit theatres. I can’t quite put my finger on what went wrong with this movie for me. Maybe it was all the human characters or just something about how the monsters looked? Don’t get me wrong, the monsters look incredible but at times I just found them to be a little too cartoonish. The battles are great when the times come, but I wanted maybe a little more darker tone from them? Perhaps they just made them almost likable when they should have been terrifying creatures that were wreaking havoc on the entire planet.

This is the co-main event for the biggest thrown down this world has ever seen. Pitting Godzilla vs King Kong and I just felt like this was a major disappointment. No doubt they have nailed down Godzilla since they reintroduced him in 2014 and he is not the problem with this film. Bogged down by a handful of human characters you never fully get invested in which always is the problem with these big monster movies. I always look at Aliens as the prime example of who did it best. You have a large team of characters and simply kill 90 percent of them off leaving us with the ones we truly care about. Even seeing this on the biggest screen I could find, I just never felt satisfied.

I think the biggest problem I had was my expectations were so high, because of how well they marketed the movie. Releasing two of the best trailers of the last 5 years, I couldn’t help feel that this movie was going to blow me away. Maybe that’s my fault for having higher than high expectations, but at the end of the day, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Even on future rewatches, one being very recently, this movie just kind of pains me. Now, I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come in this monster-verse and I can’t wait to see where they go. It’s just a bloated, nonsensical blockbuster, that didn’t have to be. You can have a move like this and have it make sense and be somewhat plot-driven, but at the end of the day, it was just loud and over-stuffed beyond belief. It was a sad day for this movie fan when I walked out of the theatre that day.

I’ll be heading back to where it all started with Godzilla, with a review tomorrow!

Godzilla: King of The Monsters = 60/100

Reviews

‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Review

How’s that for a group shot? I’m going deep on everything Zack Snyder and his epic Justice League movie has to offer, so buckle up, going to be a long one.

Zack Snyder’s definitive director’s cut of Justice League. Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

Redemption. If I had to best sum up the movie and the man behind the camera, Zack Snyder with one word, that would be it. This was a long and tiresome battle, that drained not only fans but Zack himself. Zack has been making movies for DC for almost a decade now, since 2013 and the release of Man of Steel. It seems ever since that moment it’s almost been an uphill battle for Zack over at Warner Brothers. His movies dividing fans and critics alike and not being the total box-office success that Warner Brothers was hoping for. Even with the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, people all over the world didn’t quite understand the magnitude of the situation at hand, because unless you follow these things closely, why would you? The events leading up to Justice League and the events that unfolded afterward will go down in Hollywood history. From the biblical-sized fan support and movement that honestly changed the way Hollywood could make movies going forward, to the backlash that the 2017 film endured and the fill-in director Joss Whedon faced. In March of 2017, one of Zack’s adopted daughters Autumn tragically took her own life and Zack like any parent didn’t know how to handle the situation. So when he decided he needed to step back from his work and focus on his family, his Justice League movie was on the brink of being complete. Warner Brothers decided that his vision and everything he had built for that studio since 2013 wasn’t their own ideas and beliefs anymore and wanted to alter, manipulate and downright destroy his beautiful movie. November 2017 rolls around and Justice League is released and to this day he hasn’t seen that product. Fans were unaware of just how mutilated his vision was and felt that “this wasn’t a Zack Snyder” movie and the birth of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement began. The next 3 and a half years had so many ups and downs for fans, trying and doing whatever they could to get the attention needed to bring about Zack’s cut of his own movie. Until finally on May 20th of last year, that was finally made a reality and now we can all say, we have seen the true vision, the true Justice League movie. When it comes to situations like these, I will always be on the side of the film-maker, and at the end of the day, no matter how you feel about the movie. One thing we can all agree upon is being happy for Zack Snyder and his family that his original vision has come to life and in the end, he got total redemption. This is a win not only for the fans but for him as well, erasing a black mark on his career, which wasn’t even his fault to begin with. The movie being released didn’t just redeem Synder but every single person involved, not only do our actors experience it, but their hero counterparts as well. 

First things first, make sure you empty that bladder before you hit the play button! Now, those four hours just flew by didn’t they? Toss out everything you know about the 2017 version, in my eyes, it’s a parody. Except for the little bit of the original Snyder content left in, we can bury it, it’s dead. This is exactly the type of Justice League movie fans have wanted their whole lives. It’s immense, epic, mythological, and offers so much from every single one of our heroes. Each one gets their own moment to shine, in the grandest of ways, each making sacrifices and realizing that they can only save the world when they work together. All of this was missing 4 years ago, that’s because this new version gives our heroes time to breathe and get a feeling for one another. You understand their motives and why they might be a little coy on joining a team. No matter how big or how small your fandom is for DC Comics, this movie kind of has something for everyone. Each character fleshed out, making them feel more human, most notably Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. His character and Ezra Miller’s Flash are the two characters in my mind that get the biggest overall boost from this cut. Making you realize that they are vital and important members of the league. Everyone else also gets a boost and you see that these are Zack’s characters and aren’t muddled in nonsensical humor or completely defying everything that was built with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman

As for the movie, I’ll be going into a little spoiler territory! Within the first scene, you know this is the continuation of BvS, that this is a Zack Snyder film. Watching Superman scream to the high heavens before he dies, and having the Amazons, the Atlanteans and even Cyborg hear those cries. It lets you know that his death means deep shit for planet Earth. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is still trying to find the light again and he is doing his best Danny Ocean while attempting to recruit some warriors. He’s building an alliance and when Jason Momoa’s Aquaman essentially tells him to kick rocks, he goes back to Alfred with his tail between his legs. It was so amazing seeing Affleck back as Batman, and the way he was intended to be seen. I forgot how much I loved him in this role and so much of his anger is gone and this is a Batman just ripped straight out of a Justice League comic. Soon enough the only members he’s able to convince to help him Diana (Gal Gadot) obviously, and they are giving us a little “are these two just going to hook up” vibes a few times. I want it, you want it, we all want to see that go down. Evetually, after stalking Barry Allen they manage to take the League from a dynamic duo to a threesome but it still isn’t enough. Once Cyborg and Aquaman join their ranks after a tough first encounter with Steppenwolf, the team is ready to lay down the law. Speaking of Steppenwolf……

Can we all just take a moment and truly appreciate all the villains. Steppenwolf was a winey Momma’s boy in 2017 and became arguably the best villain in the DCEU. He’s mean, he’s lean and he kicks all sorts of ass. Amazons, dead, Atlanteans, dead, humans, dead. Steppenwolf’s design is just infinitely better this time around and it makes him look menacing and actually a formidable foe. We get a backstory for him this time, so we actually know what his motives are! We realize that he’s been kicked out of the house by dear old Dad, also known as Darkseid (Ray Porter). Everything is just so much more cohesive with the story actually being built. We understand why Steppenwolf has come to Earth and why rightfully so, he’s a little pissed off. As for Darkseid, who is DC’s Thanos, he’s terrifying, the dude straight up steps on Steppenwolf’s head after it’s been cut off like it didn’t even phase him. I wanted him to go to Earth and throw down against the league but we will save that for next time. However, we did get to see him and his little Omega Beams in action. In the Knightmare timeline, he totally alienates and kills Aquaman! They didn’t even bother putting DC’s biggest baddie in the 2017 version, like what on Earth were they thinking? I loved Steppenwolf and Darkseid looked terrific, we need to see more of him and the New Gods. We actually got to see him in action during the history lesson sequence. It was great to see the foreshadowing of the old gods coming together and being able to defeat him, each of them portraying one of our new heroes. One thing is for sure, we need more Darkseid and when we saw him take control of Superman after Lois Lane’s death, I can’t even imagine how much havoc he causes. 

It takes almost 2 hours but Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) comes back. You didn’t think Zack would forget about his crown jewel. He’s resurrected once again, but this time they make it a little clearer about how they will do it and why it might be a terrible idea. When Superman returns he also gets his time to shine. He dons the epic Black Suit and all that was missing was his mullet. The action really ramps up once he is back on screen and for a 4-hour movie, the action is nicely spread out and isn’t overstuffed with unnecessary action sequences. The 3rd act of this film is mind-blowing and the team finally comes together and takes the fight to Steppenwolf. When the biggest moment of the film occurs that involves Barry running back through time to save everyone, that caught me off guard. I didn’t see that coming and it was the most powerful moment in the movie. His time to shine and in the biggest way possible. 

Now for those last 20 minutes…….

Anyone else just want an entire movie set in the Knightmare timeline? Talk about the weirdest party anyone could ever attend. Batman, Joker, Deathstroke, Flash, Cyborg, and Mera all working together, well trying to work together to “make everything right”. Finally, we got some actual dialogue between Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker and boy did it not disappoint. Some of the best dialogue between those two iconic characters ever put to screen. I think it totally redeems Leto’s Joker another character and actor to achieve redemption status. Then the ultimate party pooper shows up and we are left wondering how the hell our heroes got out of that one. Bruce wakes up and thinks Superman is coming to visit only to be visited by none other than Martian Manhunter himself! Bruce went from hating Superman and wanting to kill him to not giving a shit than an alien is flying towards him after waking his ass out of bed, now that’s character development baby! He lets Bruce know that “There’s a war coming” and Darkseid isn’t done with Earth. Bruce says he’ll see him around and that’s it. Until we get the most heartwarming moment of the film when “For Autumn” appears on the screen…..

This is a smorgasbord for DC fans and the accumulation of almost ten years from Zack Snyder. It’s one of the strongest and best comic-book movies I’ve ever seen and definitely cements it in the DC lure forever. Emotional beats, impactful character moments, with glorious and beautiful action set pieces. It met my expectations and rendered everything from 2017 obsolete. Whatever happens in the future regarding Zack Snyder and potential Justice League sequels remains unclear. One thing is clear, the world wants it, but I just don’t know if it will happen. That’s not important, what is important is a man got to undo something and maybe can sleep a little better at night. 

This is and will always be about Zack Snyder and he just gave us one of the best comic book movies ever.

So, thank you, Zack.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League = 94/100

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Batman v Superman’

We are mere days away from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so once again take a trip down memory lane with the birth of the expanded DCEU with Batman v Superman.

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice review (2016) | Sight & Sound | BFIFearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

Remember this little indie flick that came into the zeitgeist back in 2016? Batman v Superman, arguably the most talked-about piece of pop culture this century. One of the most polarizing, divided, and controversial movies I can ever really remember seeing, it finally introduced us to the possibilities of the Justice League.

After the semi-success of Man of Steel, Warner Brothers knew they needed to go big for their next movie. Zack Snyder decided to bring in the big guns, which was Oscar Winner Ben Affleck, coming off winning best picture at the Oscars. He was going to be suiting up and taking on the Son of Krypton. Ben Affleck was at the height of his power, he had more juice than almost anyone in Hollywood at the time and Zack Snyder convinced this guy to come play Batman for him.

Warner Brothers had just wrapped up the monumental Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, proving that Batman was essentially box-office gold. How could this fail? Once production got underway, Zack Snyder and his team rolled out one of the most impressive marketing campaigns in history. Everything was a homerun, casting, posters, and more importantly the trailers. Fans couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into this movie and the world was waiting to see what Zack Snyder had in store.

When reviews came pouring in, it wasn’t what WB was expecting, arriving at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and now that isn’t an important marker for every movie, but it can sink a movie in terms of box-office success. Not even eclipsing 1 billion dollars at the box-office, things didn’t seem the same once BvS was released.

Again, the problem with the movie for a lot of fans, they felt it had too many holes and some of the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be missing. Then came along the Ultimate Edition of the movie that proved the intended version that Zack Snyder had for the world was the superior one. It changed how a lot of people viewed the movie and made a stronger case for as to why Zack Snyder should be the one leading the charge on the future of the DCEU.

Personally, I remember being disappointed when I walked out of the theatre after seeing BvS. I waited over 700 days for the movie and it didn’t live up to my expectations. Until I realized I had set the highest of expectations that could never be reached. Like most fans, I didn’t really fall in love with this movie until I watched the Ultimate Edition. Now with every passing viewing, I find myself enjoying this thing just so much more. Mostly due to the fact, that there is just so much more to enjoy, and the movie just feels complete to me.

The movie serves as a launching pad for the future team-up movie, introducing us to Ben Afflecks’ dark and lost Batman. As he tries to find himself again and is eventually inspired by Superman. This is a Batman who has broken free from his golden rule and has lost all sense of what made him such a strong figure for Gotham City. We never quite got to see this kind of Dark Knight, someone who lives inside a world with super-powered beings all while having 20 years of crime-fighting experience. Without a doubt as of right now he is the definitive Batman because he fills out the suit to perfection and his relationship with Alfred is the best part of his entire character. Making his Bruce Wayne just as valuable on the screen as his alter-ego.

We also get introduced to the last piece of the Trinity, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Obviously not as flushed out as Batman, but we knew she would be getting her own solo flick in the near future. Gal steals the last third of the movie, having one of the best entrances for a superhero ever. She looks fierce and has only gained confidence on-screen as time has gone on. She’s a much better actor today than she was when she was first cast as Diana. Not to mention a quick glimpse at Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman, Snyder was trying to tell us a much larger threat was on the horizon and these heroes would need to come together in order to save the world.

This is just so different from anything that was going on in the comic-book world at that time. It was serious and dealt with our heroes in a very thematic and layered way. In the MCU it was mostly ordinary people trying to be Gods, where Snyder was displaying our DC heroes as Gods that just wanted to be like everyone else. Superman is a flawed character, for good reasons and his story arc through the first two DCEU movies was a unique take.

Fron the beautiful score, that hits right from the very get-go as we watch the Waynes get gunned down once again in Crime Alley. Leading all the way until the very last moments of our film. The action isn’t what propels this movie forward. When it hits, of course, it’s great, that’s one thing you never really have to worry about with Snyder (warehouse scene anyone), and his visuals are always on the highest of peaks. These characters have never looked better in a movie. Jesse Eisenberg who gives a more Mark Zuckerberg rather than Jeff Bezos kind of Lex Luthor portrayal was met with such criticism, but for me, it’s one of the things that works so well. It’s interesting that as the movie goes forward we see Batman and Lex go on opposite paths, Batman gliding towards the light, while Lex slips deeper into the dark. His rooftop sequence with both Superman and Lois Lane is his crowning achievement.

Over time I think more people have come around to this movie, but it’s still highly discussed and has polarized a fanbase. It will leave a mark on the comic-book industry no doubt, even more so with the events that played out after its release.

Batman v Superman may be flawed in some areas but overall, I truly believe it is one of the best comic-book movies ever made. It’s rich in context and in texture and it is more than just heroes punching one another. Zack looks at our heroes through a certain lens that leaves you wondering what he had in store for the future. In less than a week, we will finally get to see that vision and I don’t think the world is ready.

Batman v Superman – 92/100