Justice League


Viewed – 27 March 2018  Blu-ray

After the critically panned yet commercial smash that was Batman V Superman (a movie I stand by as not being as bad as they say), we get this excuse to bring together several notable (and less notable) figures from DC comic’s illustrious history; namely Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash, Aqua Man and Cyborg, when a centuries old, banished demon returns to claim three powerful cubes that if united will give him the power to conquer worlds.  Yeah, the villain, Steppenwolf is basically Apocalypse from X-Men er…Apocalypse, but minus Oscar Isaac’s charisma, although by no means is he an unappealing adversary.  Then we get the problem that Superman is dead, but there may be hope of resurrecting him if Batman’s plan works out.

Justice League

Some people like to focus on a person’s imperfections.  The same can be said when it comes to movie criticism, and I’ll admit I have been guilty of that in the past.  However I am also a strong believer that some imperfections can be forgiven if they don’t ruin the overall experience.  One such example is the rather luke-warm reception given to this latest entry in DC’s attempt to rival Marvel’s cinematic universe, which for the most part the company has fallen in the shadow of constantly.  Yet having sat through it’s refreshingly lean-2hrs I came away wondering what people had issues with.  The story whilst not anything ground-breaking is perfectly suitable and engaging to bring together these characters, and a witty script handles many egos together on screen particularly well, giving each individual a moment to shine.  I especially enjoyed the slightly out-of-his-depth Flash and I found the otherwise unfamiliar Cyborg intriguing with his semi-Frankenstein’s monster backstory.  Affleck again proves himself a worthy Batman / Bruce Wayne and thankfully Henry Cavill’s Superman gets some great moments also, with his resurrection handled rather well.  Add to this a wonderfully likable (and damn sexy) turn from Gadot’s Wonder Woman and I found myself mostly buzzing from this.

The troubled development with director Zack Snyder having to pass the reigns to Joss Whedon is barely noticeable unless scrutinizing the tone of every scene.  Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is a little side-lined but that’s to be expected with so many characters to focus on, and there’s some questionable CGI / green screen moments.  Oh and that bit with Superman sporting CGI moustache-removal (in one brief scene) is a tad jarring. Also I’d have liked a bit more focus on the villain and just how he seems to psychically know the whereabouts of each ‘hidden’ cube. Thankfully such shortcomings are made up for by plenty of great action, superheroes kicking butt and bags of personality.

So ignore the nay-sayers, ‘cause this one’s definitely worth a watch.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

We Need To Talk About Kevin


Viewed – 17 May 2012  DVD

Following a life shattering ‘incident’ former career woman Tilda Swinton attempts to rebuild her life, but soon finds the past and the present are not things she can run away from.  Somewhere at the centre of her problems is Kevin, her troubled and disturbed teenage son.

Co-starring John C Reilly and based on the acclaimed book by Lionel Shriver, this intelligent drama kept me hooked with its clever direction and splintered narrative.  Directed by Brit Lynne Ramsey this is a thought-provoking and well acted movie with a particularly strong turn from Swinton even if the likable Reilly is a tad under-used.  I found the way the story was told, with the looming shadow of something bad having happened, but the viewer not being let in on what … was very unique.  Although a simple story at heart, the director’s often unnerving use of reoccurring sounds and colours (especially ‘red’) made this much more than the some of its parts.  I would have appreciated a bit more incite into the character of Kevin, what made him tick etc, and the ending although I guess realistic, left me asking too many questions.

Yet as an example of social commentary this certainly highlights issues all too real in our world, be it troubled children, un-supported parents or the dangers of allowing problems to get swept under the carpet.  Swinton’s character was heart-breaking and the young actor playing Kevin certainly has a career of nutcase roles to look forward to, with a fine line in evil stares.

Recommended.

Verdict:  4 /5