The Batman Vs Superman In Depth Review YOU NEED

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Spoilers ahead, and some profane language. I’m going in, no holds barred. I’m going to be making wild speculations that could be completely wrong or totally right. Comments will be open for dialogue for all of my fellow comic followers!
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Ok If you’re still here I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie OR you’re one of those strange hellspawn type individuals that like spoilers.

I’m going to take you through the stages that I watched this movie so that you, dear reader, can understand exactly where I’m coming from. A lot of “stuff and things” have been said about this film. So I’m going to try to filter it all out and get to the bottom of it all.

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The Story

So the first 30 minutes were boring. We relive Bruce’s parents being killed. Interesting point here, Thomas Wayne attempts to punch the mugger. This doesn’t usually happen, and when it does it usually denotes some sort of, alternate universe. When it happened in Justice League, it was Batman’s favored reality brought upon by Mongul’s starfish creature. Now of course, this time he still loses, but this tiny change could be an indication of a fractured universe/timeline, especially since we see flash come through the speed verse specifically to tell Batman “you were right all along.” A clear allusion to the Flashpoint run, one of the biggest game changers in the DC universe. Brings about the new 52, changes hero origins, puts superman and wonder woman together, completely mishandles Static Shock. You know, the big stuff.

static shock
We were all disappointed bro.

Thomas Wayne’s fist clench initiated that whole line of thinking. Different universe, fractured timeline. Now the question is, what’s going on? Superman has already shown he’s willing to kill, Luthor threatens his mother, who, we’ve already seen what he did the LAST time that happened (Zod). So I’m thinking maybe Justice Lords? (more on that later)

Back to the movie. Lane goes to some desert in order to follow a story. Shit hits the fan, superman comes in and tackles a guy(presumably human) through two buildings, apparently that doesn’t kill him, or it does, whatever who cares at this point, everyone’s dying. And that’s the point. The next scene an African woman who was there describes in detail to the US Senate, the horror she felt when seeing him come down from the heavens, bringing his wrath.

This whole time Lex Luthor is discovering a giant piece of kryptonite and figuring out how to use it.  While, as usual he has legitimate concerns about a seemingly all-powerful being operating under no one’s laws or supervision, his plan to handle it is devious and flat-out evil.

The movie gets a bit confusing (ok a lotta confusing) if you don’t follow the comics and or TV shows at this point. Dream sequences are thrown in apparently willy-nilly and are not explained at all. The desert scene with Batman would seem completely nonsensical. It actually made me angry how completely out of the loop the writers and directors left the  casual film goer. Batman is tricked into believing the kryptonite is in the truck, they turn on him killing everyone. Batman starts fighting, takes a gun, starts shooting. As all of this fighting is going on all of a sudden from the sky, Mosquito men come down.

(Ok I always called them that since I was a child, but I was informed by Lord Darkseid himself they are called parademons).

darkseid
Get it right

But anyway, ALIENS COME DOWN FROM THE HEAVENS. With no explanation. Batman is knocked out and wakes up to Superman killing two of his comrades.  Then he wakes up again and is in front of his batcomputer and Flash comes through the speed force to tell him “Batman you were always right about him.”

WTF kinda fevered ass dream was that? If you don’t know about justice lords, Darkseid, Apokolips, AND Flashpoint you’re gonna be completely in the dark. Reason one why I can understand a lot of people giving this movie bad reviews. You shouldn’t have to have prior knowledge of 3 separate timelines in order to “get” a film.

A great part of the movie is the bombing scene. Where the Senator slowly realizes her tea is “granny’s sweet peach tea”, and allusion to an earlier conversation she had with Lex, the bomb goes off right after, leaving superman the lone survivor in the building.

Batman breaks into Luthor’s building and steals the Kryptonite, of course, he meets Wonder Woman there. Her role is pretty small, but opens the door for the Justice League to form.

Anyway following some great fight scenes with Batman, and some Messiah like scenes with Superman, it’s time for the final battle.

The hardest thing to write, I believe, must’ve been that fight. But I give all the kudos here. It was extremely well done. Full disclosure, I’m a Batman fan so I know why Superman fans are mad but go ahead and take the losers cape so you can be super mad at this. Batman beat his ass. At one point Bats LITERALLY DRAGS HIM. Now I don’t say this often, but at that point I was like YES DRAG HIS ASS!

batman bleeding sup

The way the fight goes, it’s clear that Batman had the upper hand the entire time. He knew they’d end up at the bottom, right where he’d planted the spear (why a spear, idk, probably something about Jesus).

The fight was a great battle and showcases the difference between the two, brute strength vs skill. The fight ends right about here–

bat beats supes jordan cry

The only thing that stops Batman from killing Superman, is Superman begging for the life of his mother. As she happens to share the same name as Bruce Wayne’s mother, he pauses. It’s an extremely thin thread but they hang the plot twist of “let’s be friends” on it.

While Batman is saving Martha, Superman is watching Lex birth Doomsday. Strange that he let Luthor sit there and talk when he could’ve stopped him…

There’s a giant battle between Superman, Doomsday, and Wonderwoman. It’s a flashy battle with of course, lots of CGI. But It gets the point across I suppose.

Superman sacrifices himself to kill Doomsday which I suppose solidifies his “good guy” status with Wayne because he seems kinda torn up about it. The movie ends at Superman’s funeral. Bruce is talking to Diana(Wonder Woman) about starting the Justice League. Dirt begins rising from Clark’s tomb indicating that, of course, he isn’t really dead.
Which brings up a problem because Clark Kent has been declared dead as well, though his death was regulated to a back page of the Daily Planet. Won’t it be weird if he comes back as soon as Superman does?

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Waaaaiit a minute…

All in all there were a lot of allusions to the comics…but that’s really a double-edged sword here. On the one hand, a lot of it was unfair to expect a casual film goer to understand. In the context of the dream sequence it was not explained, which was the problem with that. But some things like the weaponized Kryptonite gas, needed no explanation, but Frank Miller fans immediately recognized it. The line when the bad guy is saying “I’ll kill her!” and batman says “I believe you.” Classic, pulled straight from the comics and animated film. That kind of homage shows the respect and dedication that these people had to this film.

Themes and Philosophy

Woven intricately throughout the entire film are several intense questions.
What makes a hero? What makes a deed heroic? What is bravery? Is it saving a life?
If all it takes for you to save a life is you pressing a button and you have no consequence, are you a hero or merely a decent living creature with bare minimum empathy?
It’s always been an interesting theme to me and I’m glad they explored it here. What makes someone like Superman good or bad? If he sees a mugging and doesn’t help is he bad now? He has literally no risk associated with helping, so does that make him responsible? If so, his hearing has been demonstrated to be so strong that he can hear things around the world. So, is the only responsible thing for him to do is to sit in a chair listening all day? Because if he doesn’t, surely he will miss something and someone will die because he wasn’t paying attention. And wouldn’t that technically be his fault?

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I smoke to dull the pain of all of my failures.

“I’m worried I didn’t see it, because I wasn’t looking.” This hints that he may start his plan of bugging and watching everyone. Locking up anyone he deems suspicious or dangerous seems like the logical end to his current thinking. Which kind of takes away people’s lives and free will.

How about collateral damage?

So many people died in that fight with Zod. You saved the world, great, but there were times where you literally threw him through buildings which subsequently fell, killing and endangering even MORE people. It was great to see the ramifications of his actions there as well. Far too often it’s seen as “The good guy saved the day, the end.” But in this world of hardcore politicians, policies, and ever-changing structures, like they say in the movie “every action is political.” It’s never over. As Friedrich Nietzsche poses in the book Beyond good and evil, nobody is all good, or all evil. So, if Superman does even one thing bad, with his powers…what is that bad thing and how many people does that wipe out?

One of my favorite lines is “You aren’t brave, Men are brave.” It’s said in the midst of the big fight, but it’s poignant and necessary in the argument of who is better, Batman or Superman. Again, Supes has little to no risk associated with his “acts of heroism.” So for instance, when Bruce Wayne ran and saved that little girl from the collapsing rubble, he could’ve died.
That was heroic. That was brave. He put his life on the line.
For superman to do that? It’s laughable to call that heroic. I mean, it’s nice but, it’s clearly not the same thing. Another juxtaposition that, while isn’t back to back, is there in the film.

Superman does literally nothing to achieve his powers. He wakes up and he’s a chiseled, super strong, sonic boom flying, son of a krypton. In the film they show how hard Batman pushes himself in the gym BIG UPS to Ben Affleck properly conditioning himself to do that scene. Phenomenal work man.
And therein lies the true, huge difference.
Batman has mentally and physically pushed himself to the limit in order to become a person who CAN be a hero, Superman just has to get out of bed and passes judgement.

As Doctor Ian Malcolm once said-
“I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it.”
In the context of Superman it’s, you didn’t earn the power for yourself, so where’s your sense of responsibility? Clark Kent wields his power as if the only thing he can do wrong is NOT catch someone. In this film Batman sees this danger and goes to take care of it.
Because in this world, Superman, is a God. And what kind of God gives his people free will knowing they will suffer countless atrocities for it? The kind that wears a lab coat or a sweater and takes notes while silently judging you sure… But definitely not the kind that wears a cape and desires your love and acceptance.

A good point that Superman does bring up (as Clark Kent) is the fact that Batman has been hitting underprivileged areas hard, and because of this he believes the Daily Planet isn’t covering his attacks. Especially the act of branding that he’s been doing that is essentially a death sentence for prisoners. Batman’s “in the dark” methods stray greatly from Superman’s more “boyscout” style. However in this movie, both heroes are a bit more grim, and more willing to hurt people so, each character calling out the moral failings of the other are a bit muddy.

Overall

There are many reasons to hate this movie, but I’m already past 2000 words so I figured, I’d just talk about it in general. There are characterization issues mostly, and they just stopped the entire movie for an email attachment to tease Justice League, which could’ve been handled far better. Dream sequences all over the place with no real transitioning. A couple of the redundant plot holes like why would you let the bad guy press a button when you have super speed…
But overall though, the movie was fun and intelligent. They may have overextended themselves, but the message is still there. In the next films they won’t be trying to do so much outside of the main feature. So it should be a bit more put together. I’m look forward to seeing what comes next from DC.

Thanks for reading!

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Batman Vs Superman: Spoiler Free Review!

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The biggest showdown in comic history. Bigger even, dare I say, than Civil War(Let’s be fair this is just two guys, marvel had to get literally every single hero they ever made in order to generate this type of buzz). These are the two titans that literally started DC comics. Superman and Batman. The light, and the dark. Who would win?

There’s been controversy about this film since the moment it was announced. For instance, when the news first broke that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman comic nerds everywhere had a collective sphincter clinch. Even I wrote an article about the stages the announcement sent me through. Rest assured though, after viewing this film it is clear that he learned from his past failure as Daredevil. He holds his own as The Dark Knight and his performance is one of the best parts of this film.

Now setting aside my love of comics and watching as just a casual film goer, this film is all over the place and makes minimal sense for the entire first, oh I’d say 35 to 40 minutes. Random dream sequences were forced in there (with no context for people who don’t follow the comics) for seemingly no reason. Honestly I’m still trying to figure out where the dreams ended and the real scenarios began. All of this mess happens extremely slowly as well.

It’s really the pacing that works against this film as opposed to acting or plot. Henry Cavill reprises his role as Superman/Clark Kent and does a phenomenal job. Jesse Eisenberg was an interesting casting choice for Lex Luthor. He brings a sort of…psychotic twitchiness that fans aren’t used to from Lex. He’s usually a calm, collected individual. Charming and totally in control…until superman foils his plans, THEN he loses it. This version of Luthor has none of the charm, but all of the ruthless intelligence…and a whole lot more hair. But his socially awkward persona makes sense in the overall scope of this movie.

All in all here’s the low down. Ben was better than Bale(I said it, fight me). Jesse wasn’t better than Spacey(even though Returns in general was awful) but he was still pretty good. The fight sequences for Batman were far better choreographed and much more exciting than in the Nolan films. I can’t stress that enough. He actually threw a kick or two, you know, like a real martial artist would. The lead up to the big showdown was rather bland and sometimes confusing, but after those first 30 minutes it was great. Overall a really fun movie and a great set up for Justice League.

I’m giving it 4 stars on a curve. The curve being, it’s a set up movie, it didn’t try overly hard to be something it wasn’t, and it delivered beautifully on one of the biggest fights in comic book history.

4 stars

Directed by Zack Snyder
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters published
by DC Comics
Starring
Music by

Thanks for reading!  I’ll be making a more in depth Spoiler FILLED review soon because I really feel this movie deserves a real digging into, so stay tuned!

How DC can optimize their upcoming film list easy as 123

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This past week DC released their list of upcoming movies.

2016: Suicide Squad (directed by David Ayer)
2017: Wonder Woman (starring Gal Gadot)
2017: Justice League Part One (directed by Zack Snyder)
2018 The Flash (starring Ezra Miller)
2018: Aquaman (starring Jason Momoa)
2019: Shazam
2019: Justice League Part Two (directed by Zack Snyder)
2020: Cyborg (starring Ray Fisher)
2020: Green Lantern

That’s a pretty intense list. I mean I’m geeking out about Suicide squad, that’s going to be quite the gritty action movie. Let’s take a look at the lessons they should learn from their OLD films and see how they can apply these hard learned lessons to their future releases.

3. Steel – Casting

Steel

Several things were wrong with this film(obviously). But for the sake of this article, let’s go with casting. Now it’s 2014 so I’m pretty sure they wont be casting any pro ball players in major roles, HOWEVER the lesson to be learned here is not to cast purely on numbers. See what Hollywood loves to do is test an actor’s name with audiences. The actor with the most positive response likely gets the role. This doesn’t always work, sometimes it’s best to look at someone with little or no name. If they need a refresher course for that they can look at that last green lantern movie.

2. Diversify

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Tell me this doesn’t aggravate your soul

Yes, diversify.  John Stewart is the tough as nails Ex-Marine and sometimes ladies man Green Lantern. If you were born in the late 80s early 90s that was your first Green Lantern. The animated series have a LOT of weight regardless of what the “purist comic book fans” would have you believe. Most people are introduced to the comics via the animated series, and according to the animated series, John Stewart was the Green Lantern who helped found the Justice League.

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*Backstory From 2001-2006 he was showcased on television with the justice league show, justice league unlimited, static shock, and appearances in video games. At one point Common was even cast to play him in a film adaptation but the WGA strike pushed it back and they switched it to Hal Jordan for unknown reasons. *Backstory ends

Why go with a character that your target demographic doesn’t know? Especially when diversifying your film actually makes you money and you ALREADY EXPOSED EVERYONE TO THAT CHARACTER. Anyway DC fix this mess.

1. Writing

I will never let this go.
I will never let this go.

Lest we forget the original Justice League of America made for tv movie. Pretty much terrible in every way possible when it comes to writing.

Now on the other hand they are using a great writer to headline most of these films. But as great as David Goyer has been for you guys, can he get a break? I mean…seriously he’s done all the Batman films, Man of steel AND signed on for the next one. He’s doing the Justice League movie…He’s going to be completely tapped out!
This time let’s try not to make these soooo “kid friendly” I mean, granted DC can be the boy scouts of the comic world at times…but suicide squad NEEDS to be rated R.

Well that’s the 123 of it, here’s hoping for great releases for all of the films. Really looking forward to Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and of COURSE Batman Vs Superman (still salty about Affleck)

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely

Wiseguy Industries.

Ben Affleck Is Batman: How it sent me through those 5 stages.

I decided to wait on writing this until I was through experiencing what I knew was going to happen. I didn’t want to behave rashly, or put anything out onto the wide web I couldn’t take back.  Let’s take a journey, a journey that began with an amazing announcement at comic-con, and ended…with Ben Affleck.

1st step – Denial

batman no wayThis is where it all began for me. I follow IGN on Facebook and I thought it was some kind of joke. In fact when I posted it in another group that I belong to, they too laughed. “Oh IGN is TROLLING HARD today,” “That’s not funny IGN,” they said “we all know that’s not true.” “Confirmed? What do they mean confirmed? His name wasn’t even mentioned!” Indeed the Nile t’was not just a river in Egypt that fateful ‘eve. We were knee-deep in denial, for IGN does not troll good people, they are not the Onion. People began wildly throwing out accusations of IGN being hacked until eventually we saw it on other sites. With dawning comprehension the horror of the situation hit us as hard as a vegetable Bane.

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He still hit pretty hard.

Stage 2 – Anger

The internet EXPLODED! Angry fan-boys doused themselves in gasoline and set themselves on fire outside of Warner Brothers’ headquarters.

World peace? Uhh no, didn't you hear about Bat-fleck???
World peace? Uhh no, didn’t you hear about Bat-fleck???

Memes abound! Didn’t you see Daredevil? He doesn’t have the charisma, he doesn’t have the attitude, he won’t take it seriously! Does he even lift?? This is a slap in the face to all nerd kind, how DARE you WB how DARE YOU? How about you just stick to animated movies and leave the real superhero stuff to Disney? You SUCK!

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Step 3- Bargaining

Maybe they offered the role to someone else first? Maybe they turned it down? If we protest, sign petitions? Maybe they just need to hear our voices? Yeah…Yeah…that’s it, hey look White House! Make this travesty illegal! That’ll show ’em! They’ll change it for sure now. Xbox retracted it right? Same thing can happen here! Nothing…let’s pray on it! No? nothing? What? Seriously?

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You guys? I don’t think he’s changing his mind…

Step 4 Depression

Every morning waking up to the nightmare that is BAT-FLEK sent several people into a depression, self abusive spiral. Nobody wore Batman paraphernalia out on the streets, for shame!  Every night I had terrible dreams of bat-nipples, bad puns, and chubby non-caring batmen.

Step 5 Acceptance

Maybe…maybe he’s learned from his stint as the Daredevil. I mean I know he said he’d never play a superhero again. He felt it degraded him as an actor…But maybe that just means the role is something he feels he can really throw himself into? Yeah that’s gotta be it. I mean Wolverine said he’d be good so that’s got to count for something right? Right?

Sigh…let us pray the nerd’s prayer.

Oh Bob Kane and possibly Bill Finger, depending on who you’re talking to, please let this Batman casting not be the worst thing since Joel…Please allow us the strength to carry on in these hard and unknowing times, if you could please stop turning over in your graves for half a second, we would like to apologize for WB for they know not what they do. I pray that you somehow make this work. In Wayne’s name…Abat.

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Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries-Brian Bell

the SPOILER FREE REVIEW PRESENTS: Justice League Flashpoint

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I’m back! In the time that I’ve been gone a lot has happened, I shot a part of my webseries pilot, I finished a feature-length post apocalyptic screenplay, I watched Flashpoint, and last but not least…I got my computer fixed! (duh)

All of that other stuff you will see in time but today let me tell you about the DCAU adaptation of “FLASHPOINT”

PLOT

So it all starts off with Flash as a kid talking with his mother. Later he comes home to find his mother dead. “Flash Forward” (see what I did there?) Flash is fighting basically the main characters in his rogue gallery. These guys…they’re pretty weak… I never really liked his rogue gallery but I digress. Flash barely wins after anti-flash shows up, and then only with the help of the Justice League.  Afterwards he’s so upset he just starts running, right into a lot of craziness. The next thing we know the DC Universe has been turned upside down, there is no FLASH, villains are heroes, heroes are villains, Superman is nowhere to be found and Cyborg takes his place as the boy scout.

Flash has basically stumbled into a “what if” universe for DC. Things have changed and it is very interesting to say the least. The world is in the middle of a war that threatens to destroy life as we know it. The only one who knows what is really going on, is Flash but at the moment he has no powers.  So we get to watch Flash figure this whole thing out.

RATING

Get ready!

3-stars-out-of-5

3 stars. Bear with me because I know this movie has been talked about for forever. It stayed very close to the source material that’s not my gripe. There were certain aspects that weren’t developed enough. It was too short for one. All of those different elements converging deserved more time to have the story told. The batman storyline for one, the superman storyline was woefully underwritten to the point of ludicrousness. I wish I had more quality time with the Joker and all of the villains. The story was nice I just needed more. So for that it gets 3 out of 5. I would watch it again but only if i didn’t have anything to do. Its interesting but it leaves me wanting to find out more about the characters that  could have been shown easily (especially since they resorted to flashbacks anyway).

Thanks for reading! I’ll be making a video for the Spoiler FILLED review! Stay tuned!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries