Ben Affleck shines in this powerful drama that almost hits too close to home. It feels like his most personal performance to date and the first time in a long time that he’s done something he’s truly passionate about. The Way Back is an emotional journey that to this day is Afflecks greatest performance.
Jack Cunningham was a HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.
“It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, cause that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get back up.” Truer words have never been spoken by one person explaining themselves. Ben Affleck has had one hell of a career in Hollywood since he came into our lives in the ’90s. His storied journey is one for the record books, with all sorts of incredible highs, winning Best Picture for Argo and winning Best Screenplay
This brings us to now, and his newest project, The Way Back. Which follows an ex-basketball star turned alcoholic, turned basketball coach. It’s a touching manner for Ben, seeing how he himself has battled addiction of all sorts and has been in the public eye for alcohol abuse. It has changed his life forever and shaped part of his saga in Hollywood. This movie is a comeback story, a story that we have seen time and time again play out with Affleck, and that is why this just feels like the most important thing he has ever been apart of.
Sports movies can usually be described with one word, “cliche.” So whenever a new teen sports movie comes around its tough not to go in thinking you know the exact recipe that’s about to be cooked up. The Way Back delivers some of the normal tropes, the montage, the coming together as a team, the best player realizing that he is, in fact, the best player on the team. What separates this from every other sports movie that I can remember watching, is how this detours in the 3rd act. Everything in life doesn’t always have a happy ending, and sometimes these are the stories that need to be told. The Way Back unlike most sports movies doesn’t have the classic “Hollywood” ending, which is almost the best part of the film. This is a movie that deals with real-life problems, real-life issues, that when they come to the surface, they will have serious consequences. So when alcoholism and trying to mentor young boys, these can become messy. Gavin O’Connor who is no stranger to sports movies, he’s responsible for Miracle and Warrior, isn’t afraid to hit home on serious issues that pack an emotional punch.
Ben Affleck had pretty big shoulders when he was suiting up and fighting crime as Batman. Here, however, it feels like he has the weight of the entire world on his broad bulky shoulders. He was big and buff as Batman, but in The Way Backhe’s big and messy and covered in beer sweats. Affleck will break you down, he chips away at you slowly, until he himself breaks. His performance is best described by his character Jack Cunningham, a once-renowned high-school superstar turned boozehound. He always tells his team to chip away little by little whenever they find themselves in a hole. You find yourself wondering how he turned into the man we see before us, and what drove him to the point of drinking a case of beer every day. The more you chip away at his past the more you realize what can break a man. Affleck himself has battled many demons and at certain moments in the film, it’s almost like he’s not even acting anymore. It’s so raw and emotional you can’t help but get choked up yourself. Affleck dishes out a triple-double performance and this is without question the best of his career.
As for the basketball aspect of the film. I’d say it’s the most realistic stuff we’ve ever seen. With how it’s shot, the language spoken and how modern it all feels. The kids are fantastic and have terrific chemistry. The team has all the classic characters, the loudmouth, the hype man, the outcast and so on. I wish they spent a little more time with the team and building up their stories. Then again this isn’t really a basketball movie at its core. It’s a character study showing how someone broken can little by little get back to being themselves and the insane hardships that come along the way.
It’s hard not to root for Affleck and you want him to find his way back. Seeing him do the press tour and all sorts of interviews and seeing how happy and healthy he looks just brings a smile to my face. Even better is the fact that this movie is not just good but great and critics even think so too.
Well, that a gut punch early on in the morning. Art imitating life. Ben Affleck is losing the cape and cowl for good and substituting it for a clip board. We all know about his own personal struggles with alcohol abuse and that’s why this movie has a real shot of being nothing short of spectacular, at least his performance.
Who would be Ben Affleck’s basketball comparison? What a question, because in The Way Back he was once a high school star and I haven’t stopped thinking about that. Ben re-teams with Gavin O’Connor director of Warrior and The Accountant, and you already know this will pack a serious emotional punch. Ben Affleck in a sports movie, love to see it. A mix between Coach Carter and Half Nelson perhaps, this overall just looks really good. The world hasn’t had a great quote on quote sports movie in a long time and hopefully this can break that streak.
You know this role probably means a lot to Affleck and him playing it close to his own chest, and I’m excited to see what he does with this material. It doesn’t look like just another cliche sports movie, because of the serious weight the trailer carries. It’s great to see Ben branching out and trying new things and more importantly being in a movie. He didn’t have a theatrical release in all of 2019.
It’s always great to have this man back in our lives, such a talent.
Matt Reeves The Batman will drop June 25th, 2021. Only problem is, he’s going to have to find another Caped Crusader
Well this is the definition of bittersweet. It was just announced that after what feels like a lifetime, we will he getting another Batman solo flick. Here’s the catch, it will be without the greatest person to ever dawn the cape and cowl…..
That’s right. Ben Affleck after about 8 months of speculation is finally stepping away from the DCEU and that role will be going to a much younger man. After all the hype and the great moments we got with Bat-fleck, it’s a crying shame that we will never get to see him in his very own movie. It’s preposterous if you ask me. I’m not saying it was a waste, but what a major misstep by the people over at WB. I’m sad to see him go, I even made “Team Bat-fleck” shirts.
But when god closes a door, he opens a window. Or something like that. We are still getting a Batman solo flick in a little over 2 years. Now THIS NEXT PART IS VERY IMPORTANT. Get a man who is committed to the role. Who can take the criticism, who wants to be the Batman we all deserve. I have no clue who they want, who they are eyeing. We just know that they want someone younger. Some many choices, I’m not even going to name any people, because who knows which direction they will go in. Okay, I will. Oscar Isaac, would be a terrific Batman. He wouldn’t be as buff, but Batman doesn’t need to be that big, just look at the comics. He’s a fantastic actor who is used to be part of a large franchise and universe. I’m excited, Reeves wants to pull out the Rogues Gallery for this one, so expect to see many Batman foes. I pray we get to see, The Riddler, Two-Face and maybe Clayface. It’s just a depressing ass day. The DCEU, after trending upwards for so long, falters big time here.
In other news. James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of The Galaxy is making The Suicide Squad, also slated for 2021. A reboot of sorts, I dunno. I don’t care.
This is either going to be incredible or a pile of crap. There is no in between.
Well regardless of the outcome, I guess it’s got one thing going for it, that’s a whole lot of hunk. My god, what a cast. When this trailer dropped yesterday I was shocked, shocked to see a movie with a cast like this be a Netflix release. In my opinion that means that it’s either a pile of absolute shit or they have truly something special on their hands. I can’t decide where it’s going to fall, even after watching the trailer multiple times.
Army boys get together to plan a good old heist. So we all know how much I love a good heist movies. You know the recipe, betrayal, backstabbing and tons of action. I want this all in every movie I see, but that can’t happen. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing Ben Affleck in another role another thank a superhero flick. It’s about time to see him in another project, I feel like it’s been ages since we have seen him in just a straight up action film, probably since The Town. J.C Chandor is directing and he doesn’t have any real credentials to his name, so that worries me. But if Netflix picked him, he must be the man for the job.
Joining Ben is Oscar Issac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal and my boy Garrett Hedlum. That is so much talent on the screen at one time. That’s why I’m leaning on the side of this being really good! All these guys didn’t sign up for a shitty project, there’s just no way. It’s also dropping sooner rather than later in March, so we won’t have to wait that long. Check out the trailer below.
Something I’ve learned recently, don’t listen to anyone, if you want to see a movie go see it and form your own opinion about it, but clearly still read my review.
This is something I need to say before I get into the review!
Ever since Nick Fury was waiting inside Tony Starks condo at the end credits of IronMan, all the way back in 2008, I knew I wanted nothing more than a Justice League movie in my life. Weird starting a Justice League review with an insight at Marvel, but well they certainly had a game plan all the way back in 2008 and here we are 9 years later, and their plan is still in motion. The DCEU on the other hand, hasn’t had the same luck, the financial success or the critics appraise as we have come accustomed to in the MCU. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the MCU movies as much as the next person, but when it comes to the heroes over at DC, well I know more about those characters and who they are and what they stand for, then most people on planet Earth. I love each and everyone of the heroes for DC and do so in a unique way for each one. So when it was announced a few years ago that we would FINALLY be seeing all these people come together one the big screen I was a little more than excited. Even with the mixed reviews with BvS, which I have come to grips with. Overall I just don’t like it, not the manner in which the movie was made, I think Zack Snyder has a very creative and stylish way of doing his movies, but they just tried way to hard to keep up with Marvel, it ended up diluting the product. I put that all behind me, because I knew the people over at WB heard what the complaints from both the fans and the critics were and tried a little bit of “course correction.” Which is something that was needed, I’m all for a bare knuckle boxer Batman, but he doesn’t need to hate the entire world, because that isn’t who Batman is as character, and they certainly needed to adjust Superman’s character arc, because he is suppose to stand for hope and kind of be the ultimate good guy/good person, and they haven’t really shown that to date. They hit a grand slam this summer with Wonder Woman, and it appeared that DC was once again King of the castle, even if only for a short period of time. Going into Justice League, I knew a few things; first, I knew this movie would get ripped apart by critics and it would divide fans alike. There are “DC Fanboys” and there are “Marvel Fanboys” who love to prick and pry on every little detail about each others movies. Critics just kind of don’t like Zack Snyder, his style, the way he shoots movies. The fact he kind of likes grittiness and brooding and things to be maybe a little more complex then they have to be. That being said, for the most part, everyone knew that half way through production, he had to leave Justice League because of the tragic events, that was his daughters suicide. It happened before the movie began production, and he thought he could work through it, but he couldn’t. So now hearing people shitting on this guy, who went through the hardest thing a parent can go through, just isn’t right. The guy is a genius and brilliant film maker, and if you don’t happen to like his style, then so be it, but don’t ostracize the man. Clearly from the get go, his heart was never fully on board with Justice League, even though Zack himself is such a fan boy and loves this stuff probably more than the majority of people sitting in the theatres this weekend to watch his movie. I don’t always agree with his work, and I would have taken Batman v. Superman in a million other directions but that’s all in the past, and from everything that I saw up to his departure looked so promising for this movie. Not to mention after BvS came out and the script and pre-production was already in full force for Justice League, the execs at Warner Bros realized that something needed to be done, and things needed to change. Imagine this big of a blockbuster weeks before shooting, that the script needs to be lighter, the movie needs to be shorter, and pretty much whatever you had done so far, may or may not be thrown out. At one point this movie was rumoured to be almost 3 hours, it’s actually 1 hour 59 minutes, so where the fuck is the other 40 minutes of this movie? In steps in Joss Whedon to finish off the movie, do a little rewriting and could they have picked a guy who is pretty much the polar opposite of Zack Snyder? Like come on WB, that was not going to mesh well at all. Pretty much like vinegar and oil at this point, it’s pretty apparent in the movie as well, if you know these kinds of things, and of course geeks like me do. I’m not going to say Joss ruined the movie, because he didn’t, I’ll get more into that in my actual review, but that was never going to work. I thought it could, I think I even wrote a blog post about it. I was wrong and when I think about it, I should have known back then, but I guess I had Avengers on my mind, because Joss is responsible for directing the first two Avengers movies. I just honestly feel bad for Zack Snyder at this point, he’s gone through enough, and I would have loved to see his full version and vision for this thing, maybe we will on the directors cut. The next big sore thumb going on during production. The Batfleck saga. Imagine your star just wanted nothing to do with the franchise and wants out more than anything. I love the Batfleck, Ben is the definitive Batman, I know people love Christian Bale, but if you read enough Batman comics like I have, you’ll realized that he is the Batman. The Nolan movies are so incredible and The Dark Knight is truly a wonder that will forever stand the test of time, but Ben Affleck is Batman. So it breaks my heart to know we will never see him wear the cape and cowl ever again, because it’s just not happening, and I understand why he wants out, he has a lot of outside stuff going on in his life. He is battling demons and I think when he signed on, Zack Snyder might have pitched “The Dark Knight Returns” to him and who wouldn’t want to be the Batman for that movie, and the final product certainly was not it. Then came the backlash and the awful reviews for BvS, the Sadfleck meme and everything else in between. His own movie ‘Live By Night’ completely bombed and I think that really broke him. He puts so much into his work, especially when it’s his own work, and I just know in my heart, he ain’t coming back. Which sucks because I can’t wait to see what Matt Reeves brings to the table for the Batman franchise, so that must have been awkward and just over putting on the set. Ben is a professional and he’s really good in Justice League, he certainly didn’t mail it in or take a back seat, but still at the same time, there as just constant bad press and bad behind the scenes things going on mainly because of Affleck over the past year. It’s warranted but that would never happen over at Marvel, I’ll just say that. So like I said going in, I knew this movie would have problems, because it’s been having problems since the very beginning, and if you didn’t realize that, you just don’t pay attention to this stuff so it won’t even affect your judgement on the film, or you did and you can’t allow to affect your judgement. I’ve never seen another film this grande in scale switch directors half way through, the amount of re-shoots was record breaking, and not to mention moustache gate involving Henry Cavill. Justice League was simply doomed from the get go, no matter what, everyone has a bad taste in their mouth still from BvS, it’s like a bad fart that just won’t go away. I have no idea what WB is going to do next, I know I’m excited to see more of these characters and now I want to share my thoughts on Justice League!
First things first, I saw this movie 3 times in a 36-hour span. Does that tell you anything about how I feel about this movie? I’ll start the review by saying I totally understand where the critics and some fans are coming from with this film. JusticeLeague is a flawed one, but all in all I think the good (which there is a lot of) totally outweighs the bad of the movie. Like I mentioned above, if you bothered reading it, some critics and a lot of fans were skeptical going in JusticeLeague, because of the track record of the DCEU this far, especially those films made by Zack Snyder. I waited till the end of the weekend to write the review, because I wanted to see box-office numbers, and it’s being reported that Justice League is going to make less than 100 million dollars at the box-office this weekend. Pulling in 96 million, is a total and complete disaster for the studio, and we are about to see a major shake up. The next DC movie is slated to be released in 13 months when Aquaman comes to theatres next December. I have no idea what kind of changes are coming, but I know for certain Justice League will be Affleck’s final time wearing the cape and cowl. I just wanted to get that off my chest before I dive into the movie.
So after the events of Batman v. Superman, everyone knows Superman is dead and Batman is trying to come to grips with his guilt and try to turn a new leaf. When it appears that a threat from far away is on the horizon, he takes it on himself to recruit a group of “warriors” to defend the human race from extinction. We got our first taste of Wonder Woman in BvS and we got our full dose this summer with her solo flick. One thing this movie does really well is the characters, their introductions, the banter and chemistry between the team is really special. I knew that would be the case the entire cast of the League is great, Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). People give DC a hard time, because unlike the Avengers who all had their own solo flicks before teaming up to save the world, we got a good taste of who these characters were, and became very familiar with them. I didn’t mind the whole no solo flicks before the team up, as long as they did a good enough job introducing the three new members of the league in this movie. I would say they did a pretty good job, and now rumblings are coming out of all the scenes that were cut from the film, including a bunch of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg stuff, which is super disheartening. They all get their own “hero” moment, which was incredible to see, there’s one scene involving Aquaman, it’s kind of like his true introduction, when we get to see Atlantis, which just makes me laugh and smile overtime it comes on the screen. James Wan is going to direct the hell out of his solo movie. I want to see more from all of these characters, and that should have been one of the big goals going into production. Jason Mamoa kind of looks like he isn’t from this world to begin with, so I thought it made sense for him to play Aquaman. This kind of reminded me of a little Oceans 11, you know going around recruiting a team, different characters, witty banter, it all work really well. Whenever all of these characters were on screen together, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. What they do next is beyond me at this point, I expect in the next few weeks a lot of information will be coming out about future plans and future movies, even maybe new cast members. Everyone kills it in their roles, they did such a great job casting the League. Ray Fisher was my favourite I think, he really had a great character arc from start to finish in this, and I really love the character of Cyborg. Flash and Aquaman are also so cool, and they need solo movies like now.
Now lets start with some of the mess that is Justice League. This movie certainly has its problems, but several re-writes, two directors, changing the landscape and the tone of the DCEU as a whole. The CGI in this movie is not great, especially in certain places and certain characters. The big baddie of Justice League, Steppenwolf, is 100 percent CGI. They did not have anyone do motion capture for his character, which I thought was a massive mistake. So essentially he’s never in the movie, he is rendered in afterwards, and in some parts of the movie, he just looks awful. Like this is the Justice League movie, you can’t have your villain not even appear physically on the screen at least once. Ciara Hinds who voices him does an excellent job, like his voice is menacing and he has some pretty badass moments. This was just another serviceable bad guy, for our heroes to punch and he only talks in depositions, and this just wasn’t who I wanted our heroes to take on, especially in the Justice League movie. This is suppose to be big, and grande in size and scale, like this is the kind of movie some people have been waiting their whole lives for, and it just didn’t feel like the Avengers. This feels like the movie before the “movie” you know. The build up, we didn’t even get to see the big-baddie Darkseid, who I wanted to see so badly. Overall, they really dropped the ball for the villain in this movie, you can’t have him be 100 CGI, especially with how far motion-capture has come recently. I just have a problem, with looking at a scene and just know NOTHING is there, just like Steppenwolf, he’s not actually in the scene, the actors are looking at nothing. There’s a few shots of our heroes, and you just know its a green screen behind them, and it was just bothering me a lot. Because it was so noticeable. All movies, especially comic book movies have CGI, so it’s difficult to talk about it, because they all the do the same thing, but the CGI in Justice League in certain moments was just really bad. And that upsets me because this is your most important movie, and it felt like they just said “fuck it” in certain scenes, and that isn’t right. This is your baby and should have been cared for, like this was the end of the world. There was so much riding on this movie and it came up short.
I’m not going to go into any spoilers or easter eggs because that’s not fair, but there are quite a few, and some are pretty wicked. The two post credit scenes are two of the best ever, but after the third time I walked out of the theatre I realized, they might not even matter. Because I have no idea what is in store for the DCEU and all of these characters. I don’t think they will hit the panic button the be exact, but my god someones hand is hovering over it. I had a lot of fun with this movie, regardless of what I have written above, I think it’s just more frustration at this point. Part of me doesn’t believe it deserves a 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes but another part of me does. I’m very conflicted, but I love all of these characters so much that seeing them together on screen, I think outweighs the bad. I want too see them team up again, and I want the Justice League movie we the fans deserve, we deserve the big, grande spectacle that is the Justice League, this was suppose to be a really big deal, and this movie should have made 150 million dollars this past weekend, but it didn’t. WB needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves, if they want to continue with this. If so, they need to find the right people to anchor this ship, because it looks like Zack Snyder is out the door, and thats a shame, because I wanted to see his vision for this movie. He may be a flawed film-maker, but he’s a great visionary film-maker. One of the best to be working today, I have no clue who can step in and right this ship, but something needs to be done quickly, before even the die hard fans like myself, finally just give up. Avengers Infinity War comes out in May, if I’m WB I’m taking a long hard look at that movie and telling myself, this is how you do a team up movie, and you need to start doing what they are doing. DC has all the best characters, their heroes and villains are vastly superior to that over at Marvel, we need to start getting the movies and the stories told that we deserve. It’s that simple. I’m just exhausted at this point, but in conclusion, I’m standing behind this movie, I hope and pray we get Zack Snyder’s cut, and we see the 40 minutes that was essentially cut from the movie. Ben Affleck it was fun my man, you did your best and I hope you had fun, you will always be my Batman, it’s a shame we will never get a solo Batfleck movie. Justice League isn’t as bad as some are making it out to be, but at the same time, this movie is not for everyone, plain and simple.
Check ya later,
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Justice League = 80/100 – That hurts me
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben Affleck was born to play Batman.
Warner Brothers. really saved the best for last didn’t they? Has any comic book movie been under more pressure, and had more going on behind the scenes than any that have come before it. There is a TON of pressure on Justice League, from fans, critics, box-office success, and just over-all people being happy and this finally leading the DCEU in the right direction. All I want is for this movie to be successful, I love all of these characters, we deserve a great Justice League movie, and I think this was a really fantastic last trailer. Things are finally taking shape and really coming together for this movie, and this trailer showed us that, and I think the die hard fans will be pleased, but I also think those that were on the fence about this movie will come back around and be intrigued enough to be in the theatre opening weekend.
There is a ton of new footage here and plenty of stuff we have already seen. I feel like we got the Joss Whedon effect in the trailer, in terms of everyone seems to be happy and smiling and even The Dark Knight himself was cracking jokes. It feels a little lighter in tone, but it does remain to have that dark presence, and this still feels like a Zack Snyder movie and that is totally okay with me. This will still be his movie, but Joss came on just to like decorate the cake. Zack baked it, but now it just needs its finishing touches. 40 more days until we all finally get to sit down and experience this for ourselves, and I’m just pretty nervous for everyone involved, like I said above, there is just a lot riding on the success of this movie.
Once again I think Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller were the highlights, they seem to really stand out from everyone else in the league. Aquaman might already be the coolest superhero we have ever seen in a comic book movie. The man is a rock star and everything we have seen so far of him has just blown me away. Ezra Miller will truly be the comic relief for this film, and he’s just got some great comedic timing. The visuals are simply stunning, the shot of Batman standing in front of the Batwing was so badass. We all knew the visuals would be top notch, it is a Zack Snyder movie after all, but now with 3 trailers, I think they just got this right. The trailer proved to us, and it was Warner Brothers. telling us that, it’s okay fans, we got this. I couldn’t be happier we didn’t get to see Superman, and the dream sequence was the perfect way to tease him. We don’t need that big reveal in the trailers, that was really well done by the marketing team.
So buckle up because this movie is going to be a roller coasting and November 17th needs to just get here already, because this wait has been killing me.
I really have no idea what is going on with Warner Brothers and the DCEU anymore, makes me sad.
Seriously? What in the bloody hell is going on over at Warner Brothers? Just when you think they finally got it figured out, especially after the recent success of WonderWoman. Which is now the highest grossing movie of the summer. The last 24 hours have been kind of a cluster. First we get word of a stand alone Joker movie, that will not only not take place within the DCEU, but it turns out will cast a new lead??? Now we get word about The Batman, not being part of the DCEU either. Matt Reeves wants to make it his own thing, and tell his own story.
Honestly have they learned nothing from Marvel? Do they not realize with the success of Wonder Woman, that this universe was finally heading in the right direction. Yes I understand Justice League is going through MASSIVE reshoots, but I still have very high hopes for that movie. Why are they letting this news come out before it gets released? Ride this Wonder Woman wave all the way up to the release of Justice League. Why are you making the fans doubt the stability of the DCEU at this point in time? We do not need a Joker stand alone movie, even if the legendary Martin Scorsese is on board to be a producer. I’m sorry it’s just not something that needs to happen right now. Todd Phillips (the guy behind The Hangover movies) is apparently directing, and he is certainly hit or miss. Like focus on what’s in front of you right now WB, and that’s getting Justice League out, without the entire world hating it. How about making two good movies in a row, before announcing about 15 up coming projects, that quite frankly WE DON’T NEED. Jared Leto was a fine Joker, but we really don’t need another Joker casted. This is entering Spider-Man territory.
As for Matt Reeves and his standalone Batman movie. Having that be separate from the DCEU is actually kind of fine by me. What that probably means is, it will take place before the events of BvS, we will still get Affleck in the role, and that way, they feel ZERO pressure to add in any of the other Justice League members. Just let him tell a great Batman story, without having to worry about connecting it to all the other movies that are in the works over at WB for the DCEU. As long as Ben Affleck is still Batman, in these up coming standalone Batman movies, I’m totally on board for whatever they want to do. In fact I think it’s best if it’s completely different from the DCEU, maybe that’s just what this character needs.
You know a trailer is pretty dope, when you have to watch it on your phone a few times and it still tickles your fancy. Been waiting a long time for the newest JusticeLeague trailer to drop, and it didn’t disappoint. Pretty much perfect if you ask me, and ever since the colossal disaster that was BvS & SuicideSquad, Warner Bros. and the DCEU have been turning this ship around.
First things first, the past few days, it’s been rumoured that my boy the Batfleck is leaving the cape and cowl. He’s got some serious personal problems, so at the end of the day, it’s just a movie and fans should understand if he wanted to step away. But today at San Dieg Comic Con, he nipped those claims in the butt himself and promised fans that he isn’t going anyway. That’s a huge sigh of relief for me anyways. He’s the best part of the DCEU, and it really needs him to stick around.
Back to the trailer, everything about it was really well done. I’m glad they didn’t show too much, or ruin any big surprises. Still no Superman, and they haven’t really shown off the villain Steppenwolf either. The less we know going into this movie the better. The Flash is hilarious, the little gag at the end of the trailer about everyone just vanishing was fantastic and it’s so true. He’s got a great sense of comedic timing, and will give the DCEU a much needed comedic boost. Aquaman continues to be a rock-star, he actually came on stage today at SDCC playing his trident like a guitar, so Jason Mamoa remains to be a beauty. Like he surfed on a Parademon, what more do you want from the man. Even Cyborg looked way better than he did in the first trailer. So hopefully that will shut some people up that were complaining about the CGI months ago.
Happy we got to see Alfred in this. He seems to be playing a vital role in the movie and well I’m going to come out and say this, he’s the best Alfred we’ve ever had. He didn’t nearly have enough screen time in BvS. His Penguin reference was also interesting, that’s two Batman villains the DCEU has teased now, with The Riddler and now The Penguin. Commissioner Gordon appears again, in what seems like his only scene of the movie, but it’s shaping up to be one hell of a scene.
Listen WB has a ton riding on this movie. But it feels and looks so much different than anything that has come before it. I mean that in the best way possible. I think Zack Synder and company really listened to fans and changed up not only the tone of the movie, but added in some colour as well. I’m sure we will get one last trailer in the up coming months, but I’m sold on this movie and I’m sure everyone else is too. Let’s just hope Ben Affleck isn’t pulling a fast one on us, because I need the Batfleck in my life.
You know the drill by now, here are episodes 42-23!!
42 – Trial. Season 3, Episode 12. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini
So many of Batman’s villains, all in one place! Batman is on trial people, after the new district attorney feels that he is actually a burden on Gotham. He promotes more crime and ends up doing more harm than good. It’s really awesome seeing his entire rogues gallery interacting with one another, and almost working together. They all want one thing, to see Batman go down, but not before finding out his true identity. One thing about this episode is, it sort of feels rushed. Having all these great charters together, you could have maybe stretched this out to be a two-parter. A few episodes in this section suffer from that same fate. Joker playing the judge is actually hilarious, and it turns out that Batman is responsible for a lot of the villains in Gotham. I hope that the writers of The Batman live action take a few notes from this episode, seeing how they want a lot of his rogues gallery to appear in the up coming live action movie! Grade B
“I just wanna say, if there was no Batman, there’d be no Joker, and I’d have never met my Puddin’. Thank you, Batman.” – Harley Quinn
41 – Catwalk. Season 3, Episode 18. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini
Selina Kyle is bored, she’s got nothing going on in her life. No longer dressing up like a cat and robbing people, Catwoman is no longer a part of her life. Until the Ventriloquist wonders if she still had an itch to suit up. Well guess, she does. So when he asks her to steal something from Gotham socialite Veronica Vreeland, Scarface ends up double crossing her. When she’s stealing one thing, they are doing another job. I just love the interaction between these two villains, and I enjoy watching a vulnerable Catwoman, as she is trying to decide what’s the best life for her. It’s always interesting with the Ventriloquist, because when Scarface usually goes bye bye, it’s a weird and emotional bit. He’s just a puppet, but he’s more than that to his creator. Always found that intriguing. Grade B
“Now we’re gonna found out if there really is more than one way to skin a cat.” – Scarface
40 – What Is Reality? Season 2, Episode 20. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Marty Isenberg
Another great Riddler story! This time he sends Gotham PD a nice little present. A virtual reality video game, and when the commish gets stuck inside, it’s up to Batman to save him. This is a fantastic episode and one that really showcases Riddler’s intellectual side and his passion for riddles. Watching Batman battle wits with The Riddler is always a pleasure to watch, people can forget just how smart Batman is, he’s more than just a brawler. I always thought this episode would make for a great live action bit, and would be a great way to showcase The Riddler on the big screen. With the Riddler Easter egg we got in BvS, he might show up sooner rather than later! Grade B
“Careful, vigilante, you know what they say. Curiosity killed the Bat”. – The Riddler
39 – The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne. Season 2, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur, Story: David Wise
Man, they really screwed the pooch on this one. This would have made the best two part episode, but instead, sadly they crammed it all into one. Dr. Hugo Strange has built a machine that sees people’s thoughts. When Bruce Wayne goes to visit, well the good doctor finds out his secret identity. I love Hugo Strange, he was so incredible in Batman: Arkham City, and he’s only ever in this one episode, which is another failure on its own. When he ransoms off the video tape to The Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin, they are licking their chops to get their hands on this tape. That’s right, these three villains are in this episode, together, sharing scenes and it’s great. Another reason why I felt that this episode was rushed. You can’t have these three guys come together for only 5 minutes, it’s just a tease. At one point Two-Face and Penguin pull out guns and the Joker pulls out flowers and it’s so funny. In the end, Batman is able to pull one over on Strange, in a really clever way. It’s just a shame we really only get one episode like this, honestly it’s one of my favourites. Grade B+
“That’s absurd! I know Bruce Wayne. If he’s Batman, I’m the King of England.” – Two-Face
38 – Sideshow. Season 3, Episode 10. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Michael Reaves
The start of this episode!!! Croc on a train, chained up and the guards are laughing at him. Well until he tells them, that crocodiles have the strongest jaw and boom he’s free! Batman shows up and it’s pretty awesome how he hunts and tracks Croc through the woods, and well almost gets smashed by a giant rock (hopefully you get that reference). Croc stumbles across a band of misfit circus freaks, and they welcome him in with open arms. Obviously he lies about who he is and what he is doing in their neck of the woods. When Batman shows up, they think he’s the bad guy, until Croc shows his true colours. I remember this episode clear as day from my childhood, the fight on the water wheel at the end is something I’ll always remember from this show. It’s one of the very few episodes I actually remember watching as a child, so it holds a special place in my heart. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also a great episode. Grade B
“You said you could be yourself out here, remember? I guess that’s what I was doing. Being myself.” – Killer Croc
37 – Growing Pains. Season 4, Episode 8. Director: Atsuko Tanaka, Story: Paul Dini
The final appearance of Clay Face, is also his saddest episode. Such a troubled soul, and has some of the most emotional episodes this show has to offer. This is also a incredible character building episode for Tim Drake’s Robin. The run down is this, Robin meets a girl, who can’t seem to really remember to much about herself. Robin begins to develop feelings for her. But something is off with her, and he can’t seem to figure out what it is. She’s looking for someone, and her “father” is looking for her. Turns out it’s Clayface, and she’s just a part of him. When we last saw Clayface he fell into the water, but managed to create this girl to go off and find a cure. Robin is devastated when he finds out, that not only is she not real, that he can’t save her. It’s just really sad and emotional to see him find out that sometimes in life, things just don’t work out. The quote I attached to his episode sums it up perfectly. Batman knows all too well about being broken, and he can see the pain that Robin is going through, but he can’t do anything to ease his pain. One of the episodes I wish took place during the first three seasons. It’s a shame really.
“Sometimes there are no happy endings.” – Batman
36 – Sins of The Father. Season 4, Episode 2. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Rich Fogel
Tim Drake’s origin story. As we find ourselves without Dick Grayson being Batman’s sidekick. For the new Robin, they blended both Tim Drake and Jason Todd, both having unique characteristics, and compelling backstories. So the writers decided to go with the name Tim Drake, but he has parts of Jason Todd inside of him. When Tim’s dad goes missing and Two-Face is looking for him, Batman gets tangled up in this mess as well. I loved how they took a Batman villain and made him be a part of Robin’s origin. Am I fan of Robin being a little kid, absouletly not. It just made the show feel more childish, something I didn’t like about the revamp. But this is a great episode none the less, and one of the better episodes from the final season. Grade B
“Yeah, my dad used to work for old puke-face” Tim Drake
35 – On Leather Wings. Season 1, Episode 1. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian
There’s no better feeling, than when I put in season 1, disc 1, and the theme for ‘On Leather Wings’ starts playing. The start of the journey, and it’s a kick ass start. This is an all around fantastic episode. It certainly feels like the first episode also, with everyone out to get Batman, even Commissioner Gordon is unsure of the Cape Crusader at this point in the show. Harvey Dent is just the DA, and shows no signs of his alter ego, and even Batman feels like the new guy in town. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Man-Bat and they do him serious justice in his first episode. This is a rare episode that almost feels like it could be adaptive to live-action quite easily, just the way it looks and feels. It feels like such a classic Batman story, and there’s honestly no better way to start the show off. From Harvey and his S.W.A.T team attempting to take down Batman, from even the interactions between Batman and Alfred, I just love this episode so much. It’s honestly one of the Batman stories I’ll never forget. Grade B+
“I gather you’ve been reading, How to Make Friends and Influence People”. – Alfred
34 – Pretty Poison. Season 1, Episode 5. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini
Harvey, Harvey, Harvey Dent. Was totally getting it on with Poison Ivy!!! What a dirty dog. These are the little things I love about this show. Poison Ivy’s first appearance in the show and I just really love this episode. She’s pissed because well Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent destroyed a ecosystem to make room for well a prison. A little ironic if you ask me. But when they did this, they destroyed a very rare plant. So rare that Poison Ivy now holds the remaining one and she’s used it to create a deadly toxin. When she kisses Harvey after a date, he slips into a coma, and it’s up to his pal Bruce/Batman to save him! A few things I love. It shows just how close Bruce and Harvey were before his “accident” and just how good of a person he truly was. The whole Poison Ivy kiss thing too, well that craptastic Batman&Robin movie totally stole that move! I always get a kick out of Bullock interrogating the chef and asking him what he put in the chocolate mousse. Batman also fights a giant Venus Fly Trap, and that’s totally badass! I was always a huge fan of Poison Ivy in this show, they portrayed her so well and this just happens to be her best episode. GradeB+
“Batman. A late night rendezvous? To what do I owe the honour?” – Poison Ivy
33 – Legends of The Dark Knight. Season 4, Episode 19. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Robert Goodman
Three different Batman stories in one episode! Different animation styles and voices! This is a very special and unique episode to say the least. It takes all sorts of different elelments from the 80s and the 50s, as we see kids telling their take on the Dark Knight. We they are confronted by Firefly, it’s up to Batman to stop him. My favourite part is by far the Dark Knight Returns part. Seeing how that’s one of the greatest Batman stories of all time. I love his fight with the Mutant Leader. And love the actual animated two part movie that came out a few years ago. They tried hard to make that happen in BvS, but that didn’t turn out too well. Grade B
“Batman! I call you coward! Come out and face your death like a man! I kill you! I eat your heart! I show you who rules Gotham City!” Mutant Leader
32 – Vendetta. Season 1, Episode 23. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves
Killer Croc’s first episode! And let me tell you, it’s a real doozy. I can never say enough good things about this character, especially when he’s done right. His appearances in the first three seasons are nothing short of spectacular, and well, they straight up RUINED him in the revamp. So Bullock has been framed for doing a lot of shady things, and no one seems to believe him. Until Batman gets on the case, and starts putting together the pieces to this puzzle. One thing I’ll never forget with this episode, will be the actual introduction to Croc. When Batman finds his underwater cave lair, which is so badass by the way, and hell of scary. When he appears from the water, it was actually really frightening as a child. He wasn’t always the brightest crayon in the box, but physically, he was always a lot for Batman to handle. This is another great Bullock episode, that deals with his past and how he just has so many enemies. That mixed with a great Croc story, makes for one hell of an episode. The fight in the sewer at the end, is one of the best action/fights, this show has to offer. This is the incarnation of Killer Croc I would love to see in live action, because I think it is simply perfect. Grade B+
“Terrific. Just what I need now. The freak job in the cape.” – Killer Croc
31 – Read My Lips. Season 3, Episode 8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Alan Burnett
Honestly, this show really waited a long time to introduce this awesome villain. I know, it’s a doll, I know the concept seems so stupid. But this show did this character right. This is such a fascinating and complex episode, and it’s such a shame it takes so long to introduce this guy. The Ventriloquist is actually quite the badass, and honestly one of the more impressive villains the show has to offer. He’s smart, has the best muscle, Rhino is the biggest goon this show has to offer. When Batman finally understands what is going on, it’s so cool for him to be kind of impressed with a bad guy, and Arnold’s ventriloquism skills. He’s the best he’s ever seen, and he was once trained by one of the greatest. It’s just such an interesting concept, the audience never really knows who is fully in control, is it Arnold Wesker or is it Scarface? When Batman uses some ventriloquism of his own, Scarface points a gun at Arnold’s head, when he thinks he is the rat among their group. It’s one of the most intense scenes, that ends with one of the more violent acts the show ever produces. Scarface gets riddled with bullets, and I know it’s just a doll, but it’s very violent and it symbolizes a ton. The back and forth between Scarface and his creator is incredible, and the vote acting is so perfect. It also has a very dark ending, with Arnold supposedly healed in prison, but when he is crafting another doll head, and stabs a knife into its wooden face, and starts dragging the knife down its face, makes for a very haunting moment. This episode really has everything I want in a Batman animated cartoon, it’s damn near perfect. Grade B+
“Now, Mr. Scarface, remember your blood pressure!” – Ventriloquist
30 – Time Out of Joint. Season 3, Episode 17. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Alan Burnett
Temple Fugate, what a name. Actually in Latin it means ‘time flies’ now that’s pretty neat. This should be a stupid, terrible, hilariously bad Batman villain, but guess what? He’s actually a smart, sophisticated and worthy opponent. Again, I can’t say this enough about certain characters, that just never got enough screen time in this show, and the Clock King is one of them. This is his second and last appearance in the show, and it’s a really fun and interesting episode. Time obsessed, Clock King is back on the scene, but this time, he literally has the power of time on his side. Stealing a device from a scientist, he is now able to manipulate time itself, and he is committing crimes using this very device. He’s full of hatred for Mayor Hill, but I’ll save that for his other episode! He wants to kill the Mayor this time around, and well, lets just say he wants him to go out with a bang. There’s an awesome part in this episode, where Clock King attaches one of these time devices to the bat-mobile, and Batman and Robin get stuck in time for a brief moment, and when they are able to break free a few days have past, and I just always thought that was really cool. Batman gets to show off his brains in this episode too, because well the show always did a great job, showing us that he’s more than just a brawler. I just never would have expected to enjoy this villain as much as I do, so I give tons of credit to the writing staff of this show, for making this guy interesting and giving us great stories, for who is honestly, a C level bad guy. Grade B+
“A trial run, and it went like clockwork!” – The Clock King
29 – Mudslide. Season 2, Episode 24. Director: Eric Radomski, Story: Alan Burnett
Its a shame he wasn’t in more episodes, but before the revamp apparently Clayface was super expensive to animate and thats why he wasn’t in more episodes. Sad episode, about love and wanting to be loved. Stella, who once worked with Hagen on set, is misguided and loves Matt Hagan, not Clayface. She knew him before the accident and even still watches his movies (creepy, right!) she wants him to return to normal so they can be together once more. A lot of movie and popular culture references in this one. Batman wants to help Clayface, but he’s deranged and insane, so he assumes the worst of him, but he wants to give him the same treatment the Stella is using. Always loved when Clayface absorbed Batman and tried to suffocate him to death, and when Batman bursts out of his body, it makes for an awesome moment. The ending is really sad, when Clayface falls to his apparent death, he was such a tortured character. It’s just a poetic episode, with a lot of meaning behind it, I’ve always had a soft spot for Clayface, he’s a fantastic character, I really loved his appearance in Arkham City, again he was used to perfection.He’s one of those villains that deep down you are somewhat rooting for. He never asked to be Clayface, and now he just wants to go back to his normal ways, he just has a misguided way of going about it. Grade B+
“Too late, curtains going down” – Clayface
28 – Perchance To Dream. Season 2, Episode 2. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Laren Bright
Bruce Wayne vs. Batman! Honestly what more can a Batman fan ask for? This episode is a rollercoaster of emotion, with so much going on. Batman is in pursuit of a few petty criminals, and all of a sudden he sees a bright light. When he wakes up, well lets just say there are a few changes to his life. The biggest one being that well his parents are alive, and oh yeah, he’s no longer Batman. Shocked by this revelation, Bruce Wayne can’t really explain what is going on. He is thrilled to have his parents back in his life, but he is confused. When he goes to see Leslie Thompkins, she tells them that he has created an alternate reality, one in which he is Batman and his parents were murdered that fateful night. He’s even set to marry Selina Kyle, who is no longer Catwoman. Bruce couldn’t be happier with his new life, and he believes that his nightmare is finally over. Until he tries to read the newspaper and well can’t make out a single word. When he realizes he is in a fantasy world, and this is not real, he is full of rage and anger. When he discovers that Mad Hatter is behind all of this, because of how he ruined his chance with Alice, Bruce Wayne is so full of rage and anger he does the only thing he can do. He kills himself inside this dream world so he can awake in real time. This episode for me asks so many questions. What if his parents never died, would he still become Batman? What does he truly want out of his life? What makes him happiest, having his parents or being Batman and protecting people. But Batman decides he would rather have his parents be dead, then live in a world that is a lie, no matter how attractive that lie or dream may be. It’s a really powerful episode, that leaves Batman and Bruce Wayne searching for answers, and you realize just how much being Batman means to Bruce Wayne. Grade A-
“Oh, but it is! It’s a beautiful story! You have love, wealth, a family, all you ever wanted! Your own private Wonderland!” – Mad Hatter
27 – Bane. Season 3, Episode 19. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian
BANE!!!! Remember when they tried to make Bane cool in Batman & Robin? Remember how they failed miserably, but at the same time, they kind of had the right idea? Then The Dark Knight Rises came around, and they grounded the shit out of the character? Both time, they just couldn’t find a common medium for Bane, one of my all time favourite Batman villains. But you know who did? The creators and writers of this show, because in my personal opinion, Bane from BTAS is the best representation of the character outside the comic books. Sadly, like usual, he really only appears in one episode. Until the revamp and they change his look so much, that he kind of looks like a dominatrix. Bane shows up to Gotham, after Rupert Thorn pays him to kill the Bat. He wants to get his attention first, and there’s a great scene when he crosses paths with Killer Croc in the sewer, you don’t see anything go down, just the shadow of Bane becoming bigger after his venom injection. It’s a really great scene, but I would have loved to see, Batman’s two biggest physical foes go toe-to-toe. The way he looks, the way he talks, his accent is perfect, and for me, they made Bane the perfect size. He’s not so big, that it looks fake, and he’s not so small, that he doesn’t tower over Batman. They have a great fight scene, and there’s actually a pretty scary part when Bane chases down Robin. Can’t say enough good things about how they represented Bane in this show! Grade B+
“You can’t do this to me, I am invincible, I am Bane!” – Bane
26 – The Clock King. Season 1, Episode 25. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: David Wise
The Clock King is back! This time around, it’s his origin story. See Temple Fugate was a simple man, and he kept a very strict schedule. One day he just so happens to be sitting beside the soon to be Mayor Hill. When Hill tells him to change up his schedule and not be so tight, Fugate listens. When that backfires on him, and he loses everything, he goes into hiding. Resurfacing as the Clock King, out for revenge on the Mayor. He’s such a simple villain, but like I said during his previous episode, he actually is a challenge for Batman. Time obsessed can really come in handy, and he just always knows what he is doing, and always seems to be one step ahead. The battle at the end between him and Batman, in Gothams clock tower is pretty awesome, and actually Kevin Conroy gives one of his best Batman war-cries during this encounter. I also really enjoy Batman having a great MacGyver moment, when he’s stuck inside the bank vault and somehow is able to escape using only a cassette tape, pretty awesome Batman moment. It seems like Fugate goes out like a boss, and crumbles with the tower itself, but we all know that’s not the case. One of the best origin episodes for any villain in this show, big fan of the Clock King! Grade B+
“The 9:15, is always 6 minutes early” – The Clock King
25 – His Silicon Soul. Season 3, Episode 7. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Marty Isenberg
Imagine Batman mixed with The Terminator. Because that’s pretty much what this episode is about. Remember H.A.R.D.A.C? The giant computer that made robot copies of the important people of Gotham? Well right before it got blown sky-high, it made one last copy, of Batman. The start of this episode is pretty awesome, as we see some petty thugs inside a warehouse, where they are trying to steal some goods. When they come across a box and open it, it appears Batman has come to save the day. You don’t really know what’s going on because they make such good use of shadows and the lightning that’s occurring outside. But when Batman is shot, well turns out he’s a robot. There’s a pretty deep emotional message with this episode, see this robot Batman as programmed so well, that it thinks its real. It has memories, and feelings and knows people, but when Rossum tells him it’s only data, well he flips the hell out. It’s also been programmed so well, that just like the real Batman, it cannot take a life. It has a soul, so when Batman is fighting the robot Batman, and it appears the real Batman falls to his death, the robot is so disgusted with itself, it blows itself up essentially. All the robot wanted was to be human, but that was an impossible task, but it also couldn’t tell the difference between certain human emotions. Here’s a great interaction between Batman and the robot Batman. Grade A-
BD: Why do you resist? HARDAC’s goals are identical to your own.
Batman: How do you figure that?
BD: Picture a world completely free of crime, free of suffering, free of frailty.
Batman: You mean free of choice, compassion, free of humanity?
“Could it be it had a soul, Alfred? A soul of silicon, but a soul nonetheless.” Bruce Wayne
24 – The Cape and The Cowl Conspiracy. Season 2, Episode 3. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Elliot S. Maggin
For those of you, who are still reading, did I rank this episode way to high? I feel like people dislike this episode a lot, but I think it’s genius, and one that continues to grow on me. It’s got no great villain, none from his famous rogues gallery, but it just has a really great story, and Batman just being a straight up boss. So Wormwood is a guy who is pretty much Jigsaw from the Saw movies, except like not so extreme. He uses death traps to get information out of people, so when Batman is on his trail, Batman sets out on a mission to take this guy down. Wormwood has also been hired to get Batman’s cape and cowl from him. So there is a ton of back and forth between the two, and Wormwood actually ends up getting his cape and cowl. In a really awesome trap I might add. But here’s the kicker, the guy who hires Wormwood to get it, WAS FREAKING BATMAN HIMSELF. Talk about a mindfuck, am I right? Batman was playing him for a fool the entire time, and it’s just such a great reveal at the end, and then they even have a awesome fight involving workout equipment, which is cool. The cherry on top of the sundae is Batman mails Wormwood his cape and cowl when he’s locked up in Arkham, with a little riddle attached to it, freaking awesome stuff! Grade A
This is an episode I feel like people hate, but i think its genius and one of the greats.
Kind of like a toned down Jigsaw, less blood and death, more just fear of dying
“Alright. I’ll get you the Batman’s cape and cowl. That won’t be difficult. He is only human, after all.” – Wormwood
23 – Day of The Samurai. Season 2, Episode 16. Director: Bruce W. Timm, Story: Steve Perry
Without doubt, this episode has the most intense moment in the show. Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s enemy Kyodai Ken is back and this time he means serious business. He’s pissed at what transpired the first time they had an encounter, so he sets off to find some legendary scroll, that teaches you “the death touch”. He kidnaps a student at the dojo that they once trained at, so Batman must travel overseas to help. The ending to this episode is just so incredible and that moment I talked about, well actually now that I think about it, it really has two of these moments. The first is when Ken successfully applies the death touch to Batman, and it appears that he has died, but then you realize that, well he’s Batman so that’s not going to happen. But as a kid, you are more than likely freaking out. Secondly, and I just love this moment so much, after Ken realizes Batman is okay, they fight some more, and well they are fighting on an active volcano, I know, so badass! When Ken is corner and standing on a rock with no where to go, Batman throws him a rope so he can jump across to safety, and this fucking guy just kicks the rope away like a boss and goes down with the ship. There’s no way he survives this, not a chance and it’s just so a real moment for a cartoon, and something that really sticks with me as a Batman fan. Batman could not save him, and that really crushes him, but Ken did not want to be saved, and it’s just the look on his face before he literally goes up in smoke, that makes you realize just how incredible this show truly way. Grade A
Ken goes out like a champ, but Batman feels like its another death that must rest on his shoulders. He feels the burden of his actions.
No surprise here, women can make incredible movies and it needs to happen more often. Wonder Woman is simply delightful.
Well it only took 75 years, but the world finally got a Wonder Woman movie and boy it didn’t disappoint. Wonder Woman has so many things to be proud of. It’s the first superhero movie with a female lead in almost a decade (but we really shouldn’t count Catwoman), it’s the first ever superhero film directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins) who is a goddamn rock star, and it’s the first movie to gross over 100 million dollars in its first weekend with a female director! It took awhile, longer than it should have and this was a momentous and important weekend for woman and their role in the film industry. Along with the fact, it’s the first funny, and overall one of the best DCEU movie to date, with a staggering 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and universally loved by critics and fans alike – this movie was a grand slam for Warner Bros. The financial and critical success is wonderful, it’s exactly what the DCEU needed, but it shouldn’t over shadow the significant cultural impact this movie will have on the world. Wonder Woman has breathed new life into the superhero genre and certainly into the universe where she comes from. After last years Batman v Superman when the world got introduced to Gal Gadot and her portrayal of Diana Prince, I honestly knew then and there that this was a casting decision made in heaven. I had a blast watching this movie and when I left the theatre I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, “why don’t more women get the opportunity to make great movies.”
First things first, THIS MOVIE IS COLOURFUL PEOPLE! Holy moly, I was blown away by the entire thing, but the DCEU is kind of known to be dark and very “doom and gloom.” This movie had that stuff in it, but so much more, and some of the colors, and visuals throughout WonderWoman are breathtaking. The movie opens up with a young Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in Themyscira as she watches over the other Amazonian warriors train, and she is mimicking their movements, she is determined to be the greatest warrior ever. When her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) forbids her from becoming the warrior princess she wants to be so badly, it’s up to her Aunt Antiope the fiercest Amazonian ever (Robin Wright) to secretly train her. Themyscira looks stunning, it has a real Troy vibe to it, dealing with the Greek Mythology background. The set pieces and on set locations are terrific and the first action sequence takes place on a beach and it’s epic. Robin Wright steals the show during this scene, showing an acting side we’ve never seen before. She also has one of the coolest moments on the movie during this scene where she shoots three arrows at once, at three different German soldiers. Before this epic battle, we have our male hero, Colonel Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash land in the waters of Themyscira. Now this place was hidden from the outside world, but not anymore, and the Amazonian’s are in fear, that everything they love and protect could be in danger. When Steve Trevor tells them exactly what’s going on in the outside world, that the ‘war, to end all wars” is going on, Diana feels the need to help. I should mention that the reason why they have been hiding all this time is due to the God of War himself, Ares. Now with this war going on, they believe it’s Ares behind it, and he needs to be stopped. I just want to talk about Chris Pine for a second here, and just how good he was in this movie. Without a doubt, this has the best love interest/relationship I think I’ve seen in a superhero movie. The chemistry between Gal and Chris was incredible, and even though this was a war movie, it had a lot of rom-com feels to it, and they played off one another extremely well. There are a few scenes that feel like they are straight out of a rom-com and when I say that, I mean the best of what a rom-com has to offer. The last scene of the movie between these two characters was so well done, and so brilliant and just nothing seemed forced between these two. You know that they will fall in love, but it’s really special how they go about doing it. These movies always have a love interest who is always finding themselves getting into trouble and need to be saved or it’s just cheesy and doesn’t really make sense, but with Chris Pine’s character none of that happens, and he’s a big part of the movie, he’s almost the driving force for the whole thing. So shout out to Chris Pine, who just continues to give really good performances, and I hope he returns to the DCEU.
So when Diana decides she is the only one who can stop Ares, she leaves with Colonel Trevor and heads for jolly old London. This is where the movie really opens up, and we get to see the side of Diana that’s very naive and innocent. One of the things the movie does so well, and Patty Jenkins did such an amazing job, at capturing the spirit and essence of the character. Diana is such a strong, independent and passionate woman, but now that she’s in the real world, she quickly realizes just how little women are appreciated or respected. She just wants to explore the world, and she loves the simplest things. There are a few great moments, one involving a baby and she just falls in love immediately, and another is actually taken from one of the animated movies, where she eats ice cream for the first time and her reaction is priceless. It makes sense, imagine going your whole life without ice cream and just think of what your reaction would be. It was just little things, and little moments like this, that truly made this movie special. Gal Gadot was born to play this role, and I know she might not be the greatest actress working in Hollywood today, but she owned this role, and has come a long way in such a short period of time. Usually when people get casted as a superhero, you spend some of the movie thinking if someone else could do better or someone that is more suited to play the character. That never happened once for me, at times, I felt like Gadot was ripped straight from the pages of a Wonder Woman comic book. Zack Snyder has really casted the DCEU perfectly, when you think about it. She owned this movie, and I really hope that puts all the haters and doubters of Gal to sleep, because she really gave it her all and it showed in her performance.
Once they arrive in London, they meet Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares (Professor Lupin!), and three of Trevor’s running mates, Charlie (Ewen Brenner), Sameer (Said Taghamoui) and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). We also get to meet Steve’s secretary, Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) who was really funny in her role. From the little screen time she had, she did the best with it. She makes a routine shopping trip, into one of the funniest scenes in the movie. All the side characters work in Wonder Woman, just another reason why this movie worked so well. Honestly they all had something to do, and they are given just enough background and development that you end up caring about them. So when all of them arrive at the front lines of the war, known, as “No Man’s Land” which I thought was clever and smart. Diana wants to stay and help, but Steve insists they keep going, and that no man has ever crossed these lines and made it back alive. She tells him that ‘she’s no man’ and we have the best moment of the movie. When she walks out of the trenches in her Wonder Woman outfit, I had some goose bumps. This is where the colors of her suit shine and it’s just a really beautiful moment. Which leads into one of the best action sequences, it’s Wonder Woman’s warehouse scene (from BvS). Not only that, but from this scene I got a little Saving Private Ryan vibe, and whenever you can compare a movie to that one, well you’re only singing praises at that point. The whole second action sequence is something I will want to watch over and over again, it’s perfectly done, and they really show off just what Diana can do in combat. I loved how the lasso of truth looked, and how she used it throughout the movie.
With every great hero comes a villain, and in Wonder Woman we get a few bad guys. Not the greatest of villains but they were okay. Danny Hutson plays Erich Ludendorff; he’s a German general who does not want to see the war end. I got a Red Skull comparison in mind from Captain America, and he was hopped up on some sort of gas the entire time, but his character felt a little stale to me. His sidekick was actually a side chick, a chemist, Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) who is creating some horrible toxic gas, which looks to end the war and kill millions of people. I actually really liked this character, I just think they didn’t fully utilize her, and she had some layers to her, and I wish they had explored her just a little bit more. It’s really hard to have a great villain these days, but they all did the trick. Now for Ares. He was okay, but he comes at the end of the movie, and really my only problem with this entire thing was the ending. Wonder Woman was doing such a great job at not being like every other superhero movie, and then it becomes just like every other superhero movie in the end. You know, the big CGI-filled fight scene with the big bad guy at the end. They didn’t need to do that, I understand why they did, but they had something really special going on, and it just takes you out of the movie. I also just found the fight scene to be really dark, and I had a hard time figuring out what exactly was going on. Honestly though, that was really my only nitpick of the entire thing.
A lot of movies in the past few months have been very forgetful, and I don’t really think about them too much a few days after I have seen them. This isn’t the case for Wonder Woman. I’m just amazed how this thing turned out; obviously going into it I had my doubts. The DCEU hasn’t been on the best of tracks lately, and the last movie they released was Suicide Squad, and well I’m just not going to go there. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine did their thing, they were the stars of the movie, but Patty Jenkins needs to get a lot of credit for this. I really hope executives from movie studios take note, and start to let women direct bigger budget movies. I just felt happy the entire time watching it, there are so many laughs and great moments throughout the movie, and I’m just really happy for her, because this is a really big deal, and I hope people can understand that. This isn’t like a top 5-superhero movie, but it’s the second best DCEU movie, but I have a feeling I will end up liking this more than Man of Steel in the long run, but it’s just a really good/well made movie. Wonder Woman is such an incredible character with great morals, and values and I’m glad that we finally got to see all this on the big screen. I don’t know if she becomes the driving force of the DCEU going forward, or can be the Captain America for the Justice League. I know I’m much more excited for the Justice League movie now, I just hope they can continue with this great momentum they have built. All I’m going to say, is this movie is way above average.
Also I’m fan casting Sofia Boutella as Cheetah for Wonder Woman 2.