Batman vs Superman (2016) – Movie Review

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Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

One of my Favorite Superhero films! No kidding!batman-vs-superman-poster

Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring:

Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Diane Lane
Laurence Fishburne
Gal Gadot
Jeese Eisenberg
Jeremy Irons


So, I’ve now watched Batman Vs Superman for the third time, and I must say, this is probably my third favorite Superhero movie of all time… WHAT? Yes, you read that right. I liked it better watching it at home because at nearly 3 hours long and I was able to take a couple of breaks. My all-time favorite Superhero movie is The Dark Knight. For as realistic, close and confining The Dark Knight is, Bat v Sup is the opposite; fantastical, large scale and existential. The fight scenes with Doomsday are spread out over miles, seriously, they detonate a nuclear missile as part of the battle! When Doomsday throws Superman, he ends up a half mile away, skidding on the ground and breaking infrastructure into rubble. The action and destruction in the film are incredible and has few rivals in film except for maybe a Godzilla movie. The film is put together well, from the visuals to the music to the storyline. Sure the actual Batman vs Superman battle was only 10 minutes long, but that left more time for the real battle against Doomsday. I wondered how Batman was supposed to fight Superman without just getting his ass kicked in the first few seconds and being killed. The film showed how, with the right technology and weapons (i.e. Kryptonite) it could be done. I’m sure much of that must’ve been explained in the Bat v Sup comic book issue but kudos to Zack Snyder for getting it done in a convincing manner in the film.

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Ben Affleck played the role of an older, bitter Bruce Wayne nicely, reminding me of the series, Batman Beyond. Henry Cavill has settled into the role of Superman comfortably. Perhaps the most controversial casting was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. While he didn’t match the visual image we know to be Luthor, I think he played the role of the mentally “off” villain quite nicely. Of course, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was mesmerizing and I’m so glad her superhero powers were portrayed as powerful and fantastic. They were much more exciting than any previous renditions of her in film/TV. I’m looking forward to the WW film in 2017.

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The socio-political aspects reflect the recent US election with Lex Luthor bending the truth and using propaganda about Superman, in order to get his way and turn people against him. There’s also the aspect of whether a person can be good for his/her whole life or if there are gray areas that need to be explored in order to succeed. That’s been a theme in Batman movies for a while now but in this film, they brought Superman to that crossroads. Of course, Superman decided not to cross that line and to stay on the side of goodness. One of the down sides of the film is Superman’s death at the end of the film. It’s a somber ending but of course we get a sign that he’s not dead, right before the credits role.

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There were a lot of gripes and complaints about this film when it was released, but that seems to be the status quo these days, arm chair quarterbacks wanting to call the shots. I hope the studio goes by sales figures alone ($873.3 million) and let’s Zack Snyder direct more films in this series.

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Dynamic action, fantastic visuals and fast-paced storyline make this a super superhero film in my book.

I give it 4.3 Fantastic Foes out of 5 on the Satisfying Superhero celebratory union!

Batman Beyond – animated series (1999)

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Batman Beyond – animated series (1999)

This is one of my favorite animated series of all time. I watched it faithfully in 1999 – 2002, when it aired on Cartoon Network regularly and although it was modern and somewhat futuristic, it reminded me of when I was young watching the Spiderman cartoon series on TV. It’s drawn with crisp sharp lines and deep noir shadows, a deliberate gothic look in a batman-beyond-dvd cover 1futuristic superhero series. It’s storylines contain depth in plot and character. I don’t know if kids or young teens liked it, but I certainly did, and was glad to see all 62 episodes of the series offered on Netflix streaming. The main theme music is futuristic industrial/techno which I had downloaded many years ago to add to my play-lists. The backing soundtrack includes hard cutting-edge guitar rhythms and electronic drum and keys whipping out pulsating grooves.

The series begins with an aging Batman rescuing a young woman hostage and nearly having a massive heart attack in the process. He hangs up his Bat-Suit vowing to never go out again in it. He was admitting defeat to old age. We pick up 20 years later. Bruce Wayne is retired from Wayne industries and soon discovers his partner, Mr. Powers, and the company he had started, is now dealing in underground bacterial weaponry and selling to terrorist organizations.

We then follow the dealings of Terry McGinnis, a high school wrestler with a take no BS attitude. He has a run-in with a local gang called The Jokers and escapes into the mountain roads of Wayne’s mansion estate. Although at odds in the beginning, Wayne just wants everyone off his property and to be left alone, it batman beyond - pic 21isn’t long before the two form an alliance. It seems Terry’s father worked for Wayne-Powers industries and was killed for knowing too much about the shady dealings. With the help of Bruce and his most modern Batman suit, Terry avenges his father’s death and stops the shipment of a very powerful bacterial weapon from leaving the plant. He contaminates the plant grounds in the process presumably halting any future shipments. Of course, that storyline is not over and will come back in later episodes of the series.

With the alliance made, we are treated to a grumpy old Bruce Wayne barking orders to his young protégé’, Terry McGinnis, who is dealing with the usual teenage problems and fighting crime into the deep hours of the night. They make for a dynamic odd couple, often bickering through the suit’s headset about how best to tackle the problem at hand. If you like a dark superhero storyline that is well-written and finely crafted animation, you might want to check this out. I think it’s top notch, high quality and very much worth watching.

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