Batman vs Superman (2016) – Movie Review


Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

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

Directed by Zack Snyder


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.



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.


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.


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.


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!

The Nightmare Factory (graphic novel) – book review

The Nightmare Factory – Fox Atomic Comics

Based on the stories of Thomas Ligotti

The Nightmare Factory really brought me back to the 1970’s, when Creepy and Eerie magazines dominated the slick horror comic scene. Contained within this graphic novel are four previously published stories, adapted and written by Stuart Moore and Joe Harris to maximize the horrific aspects of Ligotti’s work. Beautifully illustrated by Colleen Doran, Ben Templesmith, Ted McKeever and Michael Gaydos, we are treated to visual renderings of the horrible things that lurk in the darkness of Ligotti’s mind.

While TNF does a great job at delivering the horror aspects of his work, Ligotti’s stories always have a bigger meaning – social overtones, allegory connotations, and commentary – which can not be fully expressed in this format. However, the rewrites are the perfect length and contain the all of the right ingredients for this graphic novel to be engaging. I had previously read all but one of these stories so for me this was an entertaining revisit of familiar tales.

My favorite story within is the Teatro Grottesco. A conspired troupe journeys the land to drain the wills of artists and creative types, in order to transform them into the ordinary conformities of the general populous. Being a musician for much of my life, I had often seen this transformation. After not seeing a local musician for several months, I would accidentally bump into them in NYC and they would have a short haircut, be wearing a suit and be working as a manager in The Gap. It was always strange to see someone give up on their dreams and talents so completely. When I read ‘Teatro…’ I finally had an explanation.

For those who are not avid readers but are curious, this would be a great way to get introduced to the tales of Ligotti. For those who are fans already, TNF is a well crafted visual reexamination of familiar narratives. With the prices skyrocketing on all of Ligotti’s work as they become out-of-print (hardcover and paperback editions going for $60 to $300 on Amazon), this would be well worth the investment for the comic & graphic novel collector.

Must See:
Great animated trailer on for The Nightmare Factory using the artwork from its pages to animate one of the stories within: