Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

PG-13, 151 Minutes, 2016

uRUJzQY.jpgI grew up watching Batman and Superman. First it was The Superfriends, the quasi-Justice League show full of cheese. Then reruns of TV’s Batman and its corniness. As a pre-teen and teen I was a huge Justice League comics fan with a variety of super-heroes teaming up to fight world shattering human and alien villains. As an adult, I read fewer comics, but have seen nearly every DC comics animated, live action TV, and cinematic incarnation and have appreciated stories from the lighthearted to the more intense. You might say I’m the perfect candidate for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the bridge movie from Man of Steel to The Justice League.

Except I’m not. Reflecting the darker comics of Frank Miller and other writers, the current incarnation of DC Superheroes is very dark. The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan was absolutely brilliant, but by The Dark Knight Rises, the widespread civilian causalities and lack of any humor made for a bit of a slog.

Now DC is trying to jump start its late-to-the-game movie empire by having Zack Snyder continue this dark trend he presented so mediocrely in Man of Steel. First, let’s be honest. Zack Snyder isn’t such a great director. 300 was an unexpected action fest, but hardly a classic. Watchmen didn’t live up to expectations. He is serviceable. And he loves long and dark films.

If you love the dark tone of Man of Steel with hundreds (but realistically thousands) of innocent lives lost and the ridiculous ending of Superman out-and-out murdering Zod, Batman v Superman may be for you. But if you like your superheroes to be heroes – praiseworthy exemplars of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, than this movie will disappoint.

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Man of Steel – Review Without Joy

Man of SteelIn the past 10 years, I’ve seen 27 superhero movies. Only one, Green Lantern, got a thumbs down from me. That means I found enough redeeming features to marginally recommend such mediocrity as Iron Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Hancock, The Amazing Spider-Man, Watchmen, and even Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Until today.

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Remakes and Re-Marks

I have recently tried to upgrade myself – call it a mid-life crisis, Mark 2.0 (or 5.0?), a renovation, an adjustment, or whatever you wish – I left my job, moved to the other side of the country, and took a position that only lasts for 12 months. My life is full of changes – now we’ll see if I am full of transformation worthy of the remake.

This journey was on my mind as I saw The Amazing Spider-Man. It has only been 10 years since Sam Raimi’s superb big screen film on the web-slinger came out and 5 years since the painful 3rd installment. Perhaps a bit soon for a full-on remake. But the Hulk was remade after 5 years – albeit as a loosely related sequel rather than a complete remake. And we learned from The Incredible Hulk, adding an adjective – “Incredible,” “Amazing” – is not necessarily a sign of all the wonder that is to come. Continue reading