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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I finally got around to seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night. I’m slacking, I know. It’s the sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel and Zack Snyder returns to direct, while Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane reprise their roles as Superman, Lois Lane, Perry White, and Martha Kent respectively. New to the series is Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. It’s also the feature film debut of Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash but they only appear for a few moments on screen. Even though it’s a sequel to Man of Steel, Superman takes a backseat to Batman in this movie. There are more heroes and villains and bigger action sequences, but the film seems like a step backward. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t exciting. It was pretty disappointing.

The film was too bleak. It’s supposed to be a comic book movie. They were trying to capture the gritty realism of The Dark Knight but the studio doesn’t seem to realize that Superman is not dark and gritty. Wonder Woman is not dark and gritty. Lex Luthor is not dark and gritty. It should have been more campy and upbeat. There were hardly any jokes or humor. It wasn’t fun. Comic book movies should be fun. The action sequences were bigger than the ones in Man of Steel, but the action wasn’t as good. Snyder likes to speed up and slow down the action and that worked really well in Man of Steel because it captured the power of Superman. It made him seem unworldly and godlike. You don’t get that feeling in Dawn of Justice. Superman isn’t as impressive. It feels tired.

It’s not a terrible movie, but it did not live up to the hype. The plot was meh. The characters were meh. The acting was meh. Like Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? Lex Luthor is one of the most formidable villains in the DC Universe. Jesse Eisenberg is not formidable in the slightest. It’s like casting a pug to play Cujo. It doesn’t work and it brings down the film’s integrity. DC and Warner Bros. were using this flick as their foundation for their Justice League franchise. There are a lot of cracks. Doesn’t seem like Marvel has much to worry about competition wise.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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Ben Affleck

It’s fun to make fun of Ben Affleck. It’s easy too. But the internet is freaking out about the fact that he’s going to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Man of Steel sequel. There are a million reasons why he would suck, but there are also a million reasons why he would be great. And the internet would freak out no matter who was cast as Batman. It doesn’t really matter. People keep forgetting that this isn’t a Batman movie… It’s a Superman movie. There’s no doubt that Batman will need a decent amount of screen time, but the hero of the movie will inevitably be Superman. Plus there will be another villain that they must team up against, so Batman’s screen time will be limited.

Ben Affleck has had an interesting career. He was a child actor who managed to survive Hollywood. He broke onto the scene in cult classics like Dazed and Confused and Chasing Amy, and saved the world in Armageddon. And then he appeared in a bunch of flops like Daredevil and Gigli and Paycheck. His career seemed to stall, but then he took control of his future and started writing and directing. Personal projects like The Town and Argo got his career back on track, and he deserves to be given a second chance. Or third chance. I can’t remember how many times we need to forgive him.

The internet also freaked out in 2006 when Heath Ledger was announced as the new Joker. There was no way that pretty boy Heath Ledger could portray such a dark, sinister, and nuanced character. He pulled off the performance of a lifetime, but he died before The Dark Knight came out in theaters. He went to his grave thinking that the internet/the world hated his performance even though they hadn’t seen it yet. People say it was the role that killed him, but I think it was us. Let’s not kill Ben Affleck. Kevin Smith, his buddy and Batman aficionado, will keep him in line. Ben Affleck will never be considered a great actor. But he’s still a good one, so give him a chance and quit bitching that he’s the new Batman. You know you’re going to see that movie anyway.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Meteor Warning System

So there’s all this talk about asteroids, meteors, comets, and various space rocks coming to kill us all. There was that close call with asteroid 2012 DA14 and that Russian meteorite in the last few days. The asteroid wouldn’t have destroyed the Earth, but it would have fucked shit up. The Russian meteorite was a wake-up call because it was unexpected and unpredicted. It’s a reminder that nature wants to kill us all. NASA and other agencies are trying to create a Meteor Warning System, which would become operable in 2015. That’s fucking bullshit. Even if there was a Meteor Warning System, it wouldn’t be effective. We still have no surefire way of stopping anything. Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck can’t save us. Elijah Wood is toast.  We are all fucked if there’s something heading towards Earth right now (and there is, it’s just a matter of time before it hits us).

The truth is that even if someone detected an asteroid or whatever heading straight for Earth, they would never release that information. If everyone knew the exact moment of judgment day, they would use go crazy. The entire world would panic. We are talking riots, rapes, fights, fires, coups and chaos. Total anarchy. And you wasted your moment if you didn’t go nuts. Everyone would freak out and they know it. They wouldn’t tell anyone. They would let us all die without a clue. And that’s a good thing. Ignorance is bliss and I want to die happy.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Minnie Driver

If you can remember back to 1997 and a film called Good Will Hunting, you might recall an up-and-coming actress named Minnie Driver. Remember? There was Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, and that girl. Minnie Driver was that girl.  She had a little success after that film; she provided the voice of Jane in Disney’s Tarzan, she had a few other movies that only a few people saw, and she was in The Riches on the FX network. That’s about it. She provided a voice for The Simpsons Movie but her scenes were cut, so it doesn’t count. I actually forgot that she existed. If you’re a celebrity and people forget that you exist, you aren’t doing a good job.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed By Brendan H. Young.

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Daredevil (shitty film)

Daredevil is a pretty awesome comic book character. It just didn’t translate to the big screen. Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch, Ghost Rider) directs Ben Affleck in this jumbled and diluted tale of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and a masked vigilante by night. Daredevil fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, righting wrongs, beating up bad guys, and kicking ass even though he can’t see anything. In this movie he meets Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell), two of his main rivals in the comics. He also meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), his sometimes ally, occasional foe, and passionate lover.

Daredevil Movie Poster

The movie begins with the origin of Daredevil. A young Matt Murdock is living with his dad, the aging boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Being an aging boxer doesn’t pay the bills, so Jack has to work as a mob enforcer. Matt runs away and gets in a freak accident with some chemicals and loses his sight. His other senses become heightened and he starts honing his abilities. The mobsters kill his dad and Matt Murdock becomes Daredevil.

Matt Murdock meets Electra and the two of them have a romantic friendly fight and decide to hang out. Her dad is a criminal with ties to a shady new crime boss known as Kingpin. Kingpin doesn’t like Elektra’s daddy anymore and hires a deadly hit man named Bullseye to kill him. Daredevil tries to prevent the hit, but doesn’t succeed and Elektra thinks that Daredevil killed her dad.

A reporter named Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) has been investigating Daredevil and discovers his true identity. Rather that trying to publish a story, he helps Daredevil out and tells him that Bullseye is going after Elektra. He goes to help Elektra, but she kicks his ass instead and finds out his true identity and realizes that he didn’t kill her dad. She then goes after Bullseye herself, but she dies.

Matt fights Bullseye and defeats him and goes after Kingpin. He gets his ass beat for a while, but ultimately prevails and Kingpin goes to jail. There’s a few hints that Elektra might be alive, and one of the final scenes show that Bullseye is recovering in the hospital and it sets things up for a sequel that will never come to be.

Daredevil is a great comic book character… comic book, not film. Daredevil is blind, but the comics can depict Matt’s emotions show his fears, his thoughts, and his inner turmoil. Movies rely on pictures to tell stories. If your main character is a blind guy, there is no way to visually tell his story and that’s one of the areas where this movie fails. Daredevil’s world is darkness, and movies require light so that you can see what is happening. The two ideas clash and can’t coexist.

Jon Favreau plays Matt’s friend and business partner Foggy Nelson. You can tell that he is just taking notes on making a movie about a second-rate Marvel hero. And he did a great job because Iron Man kicks ass and Daredevil sucks.

This movie is slow. It is dull.  A bunch of things happen but nothing stands out. The worst part about this movie is that it makes Daredevil seem lame so newcomers wouldn’t want to read the comics. And you can’t blame them. This movie destroys Daredevil, Elektra, and Kingpin. Colin Farrell’s Bullseye is the least intimidating and most absurd comic book villain ever… even Jim Carrey as the Riddler is more frightening. Watch this movie if you want, just be aware that it disrespects the source material.

Critically Rated at 6/17

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