Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


Viewed – 29 March 2016  Cinema, 19 August 2016  Blu-ray

Theatrical & Ultimate Edition

(Updated: 20/08/2016) Not for a long time has a concept made me so nervous.  Two of my favourite comic book heroes of all time, pitted against each other?  Why?  I couldn’t understand the need for it other than an excuse to bring Batman back after the Christopher Nolan trilogy wrapped.  I was a big fan of the last Superman movie, Man of Steel and I felt it was exactly the movie we deserved in the modern era, with the shuddering memory of Brian Singer’s Superman Returns pushed from my mind.  The casting of Superman with Henry Cavill was also a work of genius.  Where did they find this guy?

Batman v superman

So we come to the expected sequel and this time the stakes are increased after the fall out from the devastation and destruction at the end of the last movie.  Unbeknown to us at the time a certain playboy millionaire was in town by the name of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) who witnesses the destruction.  Unaware who this new hero is and witnessing what he is capable of, he vows to step in when a media and government backlash sets out  to discredit the man of steel’s name.  On hand to further blacken Superman’s image and raise awareness of ‘what if this man was to turn against us?’ is local tycoon Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who gradually manipulates everyone including Wayne / Batman until both caped heroes are forced into a confrontation.

WonderWomanSitting down to the extended ‘ultimate edition’ a few of my issues with this movie got fixed, with more light shed on how Superman becomes so disliked and how Luthor manipulates public opinion against him.  However not much has changed as far as the script is concerned and on a second viewing some of those pivotal lines are even more cringe-worthy (‘do you bleed?’ for example…).  Also despite more evidence to support Batman wanting to actually kill Superman, it still doesn’t ring true for the character as we have come to know him.   However in the hands of director Zack Snyder the whole deal looks incredible and the action throughout is superbly executed with stand outs being a great Batmobile chase and of course the eventual smack down does not disappoint and plays out well … until that is they find a reason to stop.  Yeah once you see it it’s pretty corny (even more so on a second viewing ‘why did you say that name?’).  Also casting throughout is decent with Holly Hunter on hand as a conflicted Senator, yummy Amy Adams again perfect as Lois Lane and newcomer Gal Gadot damn sexy and bad-ass as Wonder Woman.  Jesse Eisenberg is also having a ball as Luthor … but proves rather annoying and overly pantomime.

batman-v-superman-ben-affleck

But the movie still has problems.  It’s jam-packed with characters which causes it to feel bloated.  A wealth of flashbacks and dream sequences throw in some confusion and just feel lazy.  Also the writing stumbles in key areas such as the main narrative and how Luthor seems to know everything (including certain people’s alter-egos), which is not explained (even in the longer cut).  There’s also a bit too much setting up for Justice League.  With that said … production, style, action, encounters, performances (with a surprisingly spot-on Affleck) and a few bold plot developments still impressed.

The original theatrical cut battled against plot issues for everything it did right.  The ultimate edition only slightly improves things with some welcome details helping it all work better – but that doesn’t make for a great movie … just an entertainingly flawed one instead.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

More TV than you can shake a…


My free time lately seems to be taken up with watching the latest series of various TV shows I have been following.  These days I am happy to report us Brits are not as behind as we used to be and usually there is only a few weeks gap from a TV shows U.S. screening and it arriving in the UK.  I can’t watch everything and tend to miss some good shows due to time and well, actually wanting to do more than sit in front of a TV set all day…so here’s a little run down of the shows I am currently enjoying.

Orange Is The New Black

orange

Season Two

This was a surprise.  The first season took a while to really grab me, but as it progressed I fell in love with the darkly-comical tone and some great characters.  Loving Season Two so far.

Homeland

homeland

Season Five

Just started watching this again, and really enjoy it.  Real-world relevant and very powerful with a great performance from the often underrated Claire Danes.  Not sure how this season will pan out after the shock ending of season 4, but first episode was decent.

Boardwalk Empire

boardwalk

Season Five

Think this has been disappointing.  After a superb first two seasons, a fairly good season three, and a slightly downbeat but still good season four, it feels like the writers of this show just don’t know how to satisfyingly ending this final season.  The acting is still top drawer, but the writing seems disjointed like they are just making it up as they go along and tying up loose ends in a very rushed fashion.  Very sad.  I only have two more episodes to go, and can already see where it’s going … but not really expecting a conclusion that will satisfy.

The Walking Dead

walking dead

Season Five

A show that can do no wrong in my opinion.  Powerful, gut-wrenching and very well acted.  The cast of characters has always been good and if the opening episode to this latest season was anything to go by, it’s only going to keep up the high standard. 

Gotham

gotham

First Season

The new kid on the block.  I’m still a bit on the fence about this.  First two episodes were ok, but had a rather over-acted, cheesy tone that felt very nineties.  That being said it’s quite glossy, has a decent Benjamin Mackenzie as Jim Gordon and the idea of it being set before Batman intrigues.  Will keep going with it to see how it progresses.

Wentworth Prison

PX*7305441

Season Two

Who would have thought a re-imagining of the classic Australian soap Prisoner Cell Block H would actually be any good?  Very well cast and with a more stylish, gritty feel … this is turning out to be essential viewing.