Possible spoilers ahead!
After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) in “Batman V Superman: Dawn on Justice,” much of the world remains in mourning for the hero. Crime rates have soared without Superman, and while superheroes like Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) attempt to fill the void, the two can only do so much.
But now humanity faces a threat not of this world named Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), an ancient being who has returned to our planet to recover three powerful Mother Boxes. Realizing that they alone cannot defeat Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, Batman and Wonder Woman set out to put together a team that includes speedster Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), the half-human/half-Atlantean Arthur Curry, aka. the Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), a cyborg who was created and gifted with extraordinary powers by one of the Mother Boxes.
Deep down however, Batman knows that even if this new team manages to come together quickly, they may not be enough to stop Steppenwolf’s invasion.
All right, I know this isn’t a very popular opinion among comic book geeks like me, but I actually really enjoyed “Justice League.” Crazy, ain’t it?
That’s not to say this movie is perfect, there are a number of things that could have been better. First and foremost, Steppenwolf was just plain awful. The CGI looked like something I created in art school in 2000. Ciarán Hinds should open a school on over-acting, because that’s what he did in every single scene.
The other thing I didn’t like about “Justice League” were some of the clothes they put Gal Gadot in. Don’t get me wrong, she looked amazing in those outfits. But after watching Wonder Woman earlier this year, I Just don’t think she’d be wearing the tightest pants on this planet or a bodysuit with a plunging neck line. But that’s really where my complaints about this movie end.
After the movie, my wifey made the comment that even she couldn’t stop looking at Gal Gadot’s butt because the camera angles were so gratuitous.
Some of the complaints I’ve seen and heard about this movie is that it feels like two separate movies. Everyone knows Zach Snyder was at the original director on “Justice League,” but had to drop out due to a family tragedy. From there Joss Whedon oversaw the movie’s extensive reshoots and brought the production to the finish line. To tell you the truth though, I couldn’t tell you which director directed which parts of this movie. To me it was fun from start to finish.
I thought the action in the movie was good for the most part. The finale was typical DCEU stuff, something falling from the sky CGI all over the place type thing. However, I really enjoyed the other action pieces. Some standouts were the fight in Metropolis was awesome, when they first team-up under the island was cool too, as was the Amazons vs Steppenwolf sequence and Wonder Woman’s first scene.
Could some character have been fleshed out more? sure, Cyborg got the short straw there. But this was more than made up in his interactions with other League members. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Cyborg and Flash had to dig a grave in the cemetery. That one scene alone made me want to see a team-up between the two instead of a Flashpoint movie.
Another thing I liked was the on-screen chemistry between Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot. These two play well off each other, and I’m glad the filmmakers didn’t overplay the attraction between the two. It’s there, but it’s not a big focus of the story. There’s a scene in the movie where Wonder Woman has to set Bruce’s injured shoulder, its a simple scene, but it tells you all you need to know about their friendship.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash is the scene-stealer and brings loads of humor, and heart to the proceedings. His Speed Force powers are among the film’s best visual effects, and very different from what we see on the Flash CW show. Meanwhile, Jason Momoa is equally entertaining as Aquaman. He also doesn’t get much character development, but I’m guessing they’re saving that for his solo movie. Aquaman does get some fun scenes though, and I was happy with Momoa’s portrayal.
The supporting cast such as Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams), as well as newcomers like Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) and Mera (Amber Heard), don’t get much to do. But we’ll see more of Mera next year, and J.K. Simmons looks awesome as Gordon. I’m guessing a lot of their scenes were left in the cutting room floor, which makes me one of those people that’s hoping for a longer version of the film when it hits blu-ray.
“Justice League” should have served as the end to the trio of DC comic book movies directed by Zack Snyder. But in many ways, “Justice League” serves as the launching point for the DCEU’s next chapter. And under good writers and directors, these heroes should have a very bright future.
“Justice League” final score: B
Possible spoilers ahead!
“Wonder Woman” follows Diana (Gal Gadot) from her childhood on Themyscira through her transformation into the superhero of World War I. The film is framed by present day sequences, but most the story sees young Diana growing up on Themyscira as the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), and trained under the tutelage of her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright). But Diana’s world changes when a man crash lands in the water just off Themyscira’s shores.
Diana rescues Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a World War I soldier who tells the Amazons of the Great War that has claimed millions of lives across Europe. Believing Ares to be the cause of such devastation, and wanting to save mankind from the God of War, Diana leaves Themyscira with Steve, traveling to Europe in the hope of finding and defeating the Amazons’ sworn enemy.
In London Steve assembles a small team consisting of Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), Charlie (Ewen Bremner), and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). And with some help from Steve’s faithful secretary Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) and Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Diana and Steve set out to find and stop General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and his scientist Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya).
Finally, finally people, DC and Warner Bros. got it right!
“Wonder Woman” is EPIC< and this movie more than lives up to the hype. This film deserves all the critical praise it’s received and then some. “Wonder Woman” is a beautifully directed, well acted, superhero movie about hope and love. These are two things the DCEU has been sorely missing.
“Wonder Woman” never felt bogged down by the disappointments of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” or “Suicide Squad.” Since the majority of the film takes place on Themyscira or in Europe during World War I, the film had opportunities the previous movies did not have, like telling a stand alone origin story.
The Word War I setting also provides a chance for some incredible action. Diana’s Amazonian fighting style gives us a fresh take on what could have been a typical battlefield scene. Watching Diana take on the German army with only her sword, shield, and her Lasso of Truth, was breathtaking. For the first time ever, I got goosebumps watching a superhero on the big screen.
One of the movie’s best action sequences features the Amazons taking on a group of German soldiers on the beaches of Themyscira . Here, we see why the Amazons are some of the best warriors in the world, and the Amazon who steals the show is Robin Wright’s Antiope. During this sequence, the audience cheered like we were at a sporting event, another first during a comic book movie.
For me however, the best part of “Wonder Woman” was Diana’s personal journey through man’s world, and this is where Patty Jenkins direction succeeds where the others didn’t. I love the small moments in the film like: the moment Diana tastes ice cream for the first time; the banter on the boat between Steve and Diana; the way Diana talks down the army general; and countless other.
Gadot plays each of these moments with equal amounts of innocence and curiosity. She also does this little chuckle a couple of times, that seemed genuine. This is by far Gal Gadot’s best work to date. I don’t believe any other actress could have brought out all the different sides of Diana to life as beautifully as she did.
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is the tour guide not just for Diana’s questions and curiosities about man’s world, but for the audience as well. We’re learning about the Amazons and Diana right along with Pine, and he is at his most charming here. The chemistry between the two is undeniably, and it helps sell the relationship.
My only complaint (if you want to call it that), is that Steve never calls Wonder Woman “Angel.” I know it’s a silly complaint because its such a minor thing, but whenever I read Wonder Woman’s comic, he always called her that, and I think this happened in the old tv show too.
“Wonder Woman” is damn near perfect, but the movie suffer from something that ails most comic book movies: underdeveloped villains. General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) really don’t have much to do. Huston has a lot of dialogue, but his character was pretty pointless. I wish Doctor Poison had been the main “human” villain, because her character had potential. Elena Anaya is a good actress, but she too didn’t get a character arc.
At the end of the day, “Wonder Woman” is not only the best of the DCEU films, but it is also one of the best comic book movies period. Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins delivered an incredibly exciting and inspiring film, and I can’t thank them enough. “Wonder Woman” is the movie about hope and love we didn’t know we needed in 2017.
“Wonder Woman” score: A
Possible spoilers ahead!
After shipping off their kids to summer camp, married couple Jeff (Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) have the house all to themselves for the first time in years. As they look for something special to do with their alone time, the two become facinated by their new neighbors, Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot).
Tim and Natalie tell the neighbors that they’re ready to settle down in suburbia after a life of traveling the world. The couple are welcomed into the neighborhood, and Jeff looks forward to becoming friends with people who are so “cool.” Karen on the other hand, becomes suspicious of the Joneses, believing that they’re too perfect and accomplished for their neighborhood .
One night, when the Joneses are out for dinner, Jeff and Karen break into their neighbors’ house and discover that Tim and Natalie are really government spies investigating the aerospace company that Jeff works for. Soon, Jeff and Karen become a part of an espionage plot and have to help the Joneses accomplish their mission before national security is compromised.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses” is the latest film from director Greg Mottola (“Superbad”), and his first attempt at an action/comedy film. Some of the comedy in this movie is pretty good, I particularly enjoyed the scenes between Gal Gadot and Isla Fisher. The two had goof chemistry , and played well off each other.
Meanwhile, the action sequences are okay for the most part. The filmmakers did what they could with the budget. The director kept the action simple for the most part, and the car/motorcycle chase is the highlight action sequence of the movie.
The script isn’t perfect, but it did present some interesting ideas: Tim hates his job, Karen is insecure, there’s something going on in the neighborhood nobody knows about, the Joneses have communication problems in their marriage, and more. But sadly, none of these were truly developed. One arc that did work was when Jeff and Tim were trying to bond over lunch.
Zach Galifianakis wsa good fit for Jef, and he was able to pull off the straightman role while still showcasing his comedic talents. Jon Hamm got the character with the most material to work with. He’s good in the action sequences, and when acting oppsite Galifianakis. Hamm even made Tim a likable and relatable character.
Gal Gadot is fine as a determined, no-nonsense spy, but unlike Hamm, she loves her job. But since sshe loves him too, she’s willing to find compromise. She’s great in the action scenes, and managed to pull off a few funnu scenes too. I love her comments about how they could last months undercover in the middle east, but only four days in the suburbs.
At first, Isla Fisher’s Karen was nothing more than the bored suburban wife who gets caught up in an explosive situation. But two scenes in the movie changed my mind about her: when her and Jef break inot the Jones home, and when she hands Gal Gadot a knife later on. Both scenes were creative I thought.
A couple of months ago when everyone was doing their best and worst movie iists of 2016, “Keeping Up with the Joneses” as one of the worst movies of the year. I have to disagree with those people. “Keeping Up with the Joneses” may not be an award contender, and it may be generic in some ways, but I still found it to be an entertaining comedy.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses” final score: C
In the aftermath of Superman and General Zod’s battle over Metropolis in “Man of Steel,” sister cities Metropolis and Gotham are still picking up the pieces almost two years later. Now, goverment leaders try to make sense of this new world where aliens with strange powers live among them.
Despite playing a key role in the destruction of Metropolis, some people see Superman (Henry Cavill) as a super-powered savior who intervenes whenever innocent life is in danger. Others however, view him as an unchecked alien menace who is not accountable to anyone and as a possible threat to humanity.
One of Superman’s biggest critics is Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who is convinced the Man of Steel is both a magnet for otherworldly threats as well as a liability, should the Kryptonian ever turn on the people of Earth. As show in the opening moments of the film, Bruce suffered a personal loss in the battle for Metropolis, and ever since, his Batman has turned even more ruthless than ever before.
After seeing Batman’s brutality on display, Superman determines that Batman’s choice to operate outside of the law does more harm than good, and vows to put an end to Gotham’s vigilante. However, as Batman and Superman prepare for a showdown, a major new threat is rising.
“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a very grimm film that spends a lot of time establishing this DC world. For the first big chunk of the movie we get to see how Superman’s arrival has affected everyone from regular people, to politicians, to vigilantes, to sociopathic tech moguls. So for those hoping that a significant portion of the film’s is dedicated to the Bats vs supes fight, you might be dissapointed.
But to be fair, director Zack Snyder didn’t have an easy task: introduce the world to new versions of three iconic characters (Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor), explore their ideological differences and similarities, and set the table for all future DC film installments.
Although I had problems with the film’s pacing at times, I thought Zack Snyder did a pretty damn good job all things considered. Dawn of Justice delivers on the action and the emotional stuff. I get why Batman is so pissed at Superman. I also get why Superman is conflicted about his role in the world. And I understand why the goverment is apprehensive about trusting Superman.
As far as the acting goes, Henry Cavill delivers another solid performance as Superman, but at times it did feel like he was playing a third wheel to Batman and Wonder Woman. Cavill was just not given enough to do, and sometimes he seemed even more depressed than Bruce Wayne. But his more low key scenes with his mom and Lois were pretty damn good.
And what of Ben Affleck’s aged Dark Knight? Well, belive it or not, he could be the best and most exciting Batman ever. He’s brutal, intimidating, and scary. My only problem with this Dark Knight was the fact that he’s basically a serial killer. But, its hinted that he’s been through hell and back, so maybe that’s why he’s a bit crazy at times.
Regardless of that, I want a Batman solo movie now, not two or three years from now. I want to see what led this Batman down this path, i want to see more of his world. Oh yeah, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred? Perfect casting.
I’m gonna skip talking about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor because I still don’t know what to make of him. But if you like Eisenberg’s acting, I guess you’ll be happy?
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) on the other hand, steaks the movie– both as Diana Prince and as a fully-armored amazonian warrior. She got the loudest cheer from the audience, and its easy to tell she’ll be a fan favorite when her movie arrives next year.
Do I wish Wonder Woman been in BvS more? Sure I do as do many others., But I understand why they limited her screen time. Plus it makes me excited to see her solo movie, so basically, the tease worked.
2013’s “Man of Steel” was an incredibly divisive film. It was one fo those movies that you either loved or hated. I for one, enjoyed a different take on Superman, and even named “Man of Steel” one of my favorite movies that year.
Anyways, its clear that “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is even more controversial than its predecessor. Critics hate the movie, but that’s not really surprising. And even fans who didn’t like the movie, went to see it.
Did I have some issues with the movie? Yes I did. BvS could have been shorter, and the script could have used a polish. The pace could have been a little smoother too. But at the end of the day, Dawn of Justice did a good job of introducing new versions of favorite charcters, and it made me excited to see what is coming next.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” final score: 8
A few months ago when the rumors of a Wonder Woman set in World War I started circulating, I was a bit worried. Not because I have anything against any war setting, but because I’m still having nightmares about Joe Johnston’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Anywho, it looks like I had nothing to worry about. I like what I see from “Wonder Woman” so far, and it looks like only part of the movie takes place during WWI which is good. And Gal Gadot looks amazing in and out of costume.
I’m still waiting to hear her talk as Wonder Woman though, but we did a grunt. So I guess that’s a good first step.
I say again: IS IT MARCH YET?!?