Review: Batman vs. Superman

posterYES THIS MOVIE IS FINALLY REAL. Prepare for fangirling, as I am attempting to do more of a full review for once, because my opinions don’t separate into categories as neatly as they sometimes do.

This is mildly spoiler free. I won’t reveal any major plot points, but I am going to talk about particular events and characters, as well as the look and feel of the film. So if you want to go into the movie blind…why did you open a review?frank miller

From the announcement of the movie, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice promised to be heavily influenced by comics, and when the first teaser was released, fans everywhere raved about how much the batsuit looked like the batsuit from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns three part comic series. That proved to be true, as the Miller’s series clearly played a weighty role in costuming, cinematography, and dialogue.

This is a comic-lover’s review. I’m no connoisseur of either film or comics, but I have to admit that it wasn’t a great movie. As a film it fell short in dialogue and character development and, really, plot. I can see how the movie would be pretty boring if you weren’t a geeking comic book fan; the dialogue did very little besides move the plot forward, and that plot was incredibly straightforward. The little bit of intrigue provided was shelved for later developments in the franchise.

But it was a comic fan’s dream. (Now is probably the best time to admit I know next to nothing about Superman – I haven’t even seen Man of Steel. But, as regular readers know, I can talk about Batman all day long.) The cinematography beautifully mirrored epic comic book angles. There was a 360 shot of Batman on the side of a building with his cape snapping out that made me squeal. The same goes for Bruce busting through a window with his cape spread out like the bat-symbol, in a shot that reminded me very much of Batman: The Animated Series.

A major concern of mine going into the movie was Lex Luthor. When Jesse Eisenberg was cast in the role, I was confused but hopeful: Eisenberg is talented and multi-faceted, but isn’t he young to be playing Luthor? And then the trailer came out and all of that hope fizzled out. Who was this dorky, psycho kid? Sure, the lines all sounded like they came straight from the bald, suit-wearing Luthor we all know so well, but the delivery just felt wrong.

It turns out that Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor, but not the one we all know and (fewer of us) love. The character is his son. This brought a sigh of relief from me, because I didn’t have to worry about the ruination of an established character, but I’m still disappointed. I think Luthor as a charismatic and powerful political figure is really interesting, and adds another level of depth and interest to plot. The lack of complexity in Batman vs. Superman really showed through, and, obviously, a more interesting villain would have aided that. Also, I’m relatively tired of the tortured-genius-antagonist.

In terms of character development, I loved the movie’s opening scene. That first glimpse of Bruce Wayne-as-a-decent-human-being, before we have to see a hungry-for-justice-Batman (KILLING PEOPLE), is so necessary in opening up the character and creating someone both new and veteran audiences’ can appreciate. When Bruce commented, “We’re criminals, Alfred. We’ve always been criminals.” – a line straight from The Dark Knight Returns – I did another internal happy dance. That line alone makes way for plenty of possibilities for both Batman and Bruce Wayne that are rarely explored, even in comic story lines. All in all, I think Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne has so much potential for character development. We just didn’t see it in this film.

_1449632347There is little to say about the other heroes in the film, Superman was Superman, but the film focused very little on him, in my opinion. (Though the truth is, I tend to have eyes for only Batman.) Wonder Woman was, as the kids say these days, on fleek. There are so many different versions of Diana in comics and television, that as long as her strength and abilities are on par with the other members of the Justice League (as she is one of their strongest, and certainly the most consistent), no one can really complain.

I enjoyed the movie, but I recommend it with disclaimers. It isn’t the breakthrough film I was hoping would jump start DC’s new cinematic universe, and DC still has a long way to go to in terms of live action movies, but it was a strong start.

XX. Shelby Jo

P.S. THERE IS SO MUCH POTENTIAL AND FORESHADOWING FOR A JASON TODD.jay I’m really conflicted, because in the Frank Miller alternate universe, Jason never came back to life. But, the ending of Batman vs. Superman allows for him to return. I want to see him in a live action adaptation so, so badly, but I’m terrified of everything that could go wrong. (Like him being the Joker like everyone is speculating right now. That would completely eliminate Jason’s purpose in the Batman narrative. *QUE RANT*)

Friday Favorites 2/27/16

Happy weekend! This week’s favorites are going to be quick and easy because I’m a busy woman!

  1. This post by arse-in-arsenal on Tumblr. I re-watched Young Justice recently, and I feel this post. The era of Kon and Tim being best friends is definitely my favorite.FF 2.27.16

2. This came up on my calendar, because I never entered the new release date for The Raven King. I shed a single tear, but it also means we’re that much closer to the actual date.

TRC

(And, yes, I still use ios 6. Judge away.)

3. THE FINAL TRAILER FOR BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. I’M SO PUMPED. CAN YOU TELL I’M PUMPED????

 

XX. Shelby Jo

 

Friday Favorites 12/11/15

Welcome to Friday!! Huzzah for the weekend if you have a job, continue eating ice cream and chipping away at your life’s savings if you don’t have a job or a life or are basically otherwise me.

This post almost didn’t happen because, as if I was not already stir crazy, I CAN’T GET WIFI ON MY LAPTOP AND HAVEN’T BEEN AT HOME WHERE I CAN USE ETHERNET. Windows must have gone AWOL and be flailing its genitalia about and having a wild time somewhere because it ain’t doin’ diddly ’round here!

#1). This image set from Pinterest got me weak. I used to be on the Teen Titans GO hate train because it seemed like the thing for proper DC fans to do, but now that I have actually seen the show (Cartoon Network plays nonstop at SCAD) I understand the hatred.Teen Titans

#2). THE GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 TEASER. LIKE HOLY MARKETING BATMAN. I recently watched all of Game of Thrones and the obsession is still very fresh and very real.

#3). There’s no image for this one, but just the fact that the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie came out ten years ago, on December 8th, 2005. I have very vivid memories of my dad taking me and my brothers to see the movie, and in general it is very near and dear to my heart.

 

Have a lovely and safe weekend!

xx. Shelby Jo

 

Friday Favorites 11/13/15

Ohhhh, the fact that I’m starting this series on Friday the 13th simultaneously makes me want to cry and fist pump. MAKE OF THAT WHAT YOU WILL.

Favorite #1: This image set from Tumblr. I love Maggie Stiefvater and consider The Scorpio Races to be my favorite contemporary novel, andddd it’s Scorpio month, so there had to be at least one TSR related item here.

Scorpio FF 11.13 pt. 1 Scorpio FF 11.13 pt. 2

Favorite #2: This adorable doodle by Cantobear on Tumblr and just the fact that Cassandra Cain is finally in the New 52 in general. I can’t wait for the quarter to end so I can get caught up on all of my comic babies.
Cass - FF 11.13 Favorite #3: This baby discovered on Pinterest. There are no words for how excited I am to see The Force Awakens.

Force Awakens FF 11.13

Have a great weekend!

xx. Shelby Jo

Introducing…!

New Friday Posts!

Okay, so I’ve had this idea to do “Friday Favorites” for a while, but that’s not actually what’s going on right now. Bear with me.

Every other Friday will be “Friday Favorites,” with my favorites non-text media I’ve encountered over the past two weeks, and the Fridays in between will contain reviews of movies, TV shows, books, etc. I have yet to come up with a catchy name for those days. Don’t get your hopes up.

But today, the first review, is for the new CBS show Supergirl!

Supergirl

  • Context: Those of you who follow me on Tumblr know that I am a huge Detective Comics fan. I especially love Batman, and all of the characters connected with that title (JASON TODD). I, however, have not been impressed with the other tv titles DC is running right now. I think that both Arrow and Flash are disappointing, and I really did not have high hopes for Supergirl.
  • On the other hand, I was really interested to see it, because Jeremy Jordan is one of my favorite actors, and just people in existence, because I love Newsies (wow, you’re learning so much about me right now). And that excitement for him in the role of Winn Schott really helped me enjoy the show on the whole. So far, in the first two episodes, he’s been great. I’m going to try not to gush over him too much.
  • Positives: All in all, the first two episodes weren’t bad. They were fairly well paced, and interesting, without being over dramatic like Arrow. I’m interested in the way the show plays up Kara being a female superhero, but I also hope they work harder to lessen the obvious gap between female and male superheroes (like, um, not wearing lipstick during life and death situations?). I also really like Alex Danvers as a character, because it’s very clear that you don’t have to have super powers to be a bad ass woman.
  • Negatives: The Kara Danvers of the Supergirl show is not the Supergirl of the comics. And, yes, that’s something to be expected, but I’m personally disappointed in how basically every character change makes Kara more feminine and timid. Those are not bad qualities, but they’re traits typical of leading ladies. They’re safe. Additionally, the dialogue is predictable and boring, thus far, Cat Grant’s character is the most innovative. She’s the one that I look forward to seeing on the screen because she keeps scenes moving with out delivering lines that are clearly intended to KEEP THE SCENE MOVING.
  • Summary: All in all, it’s not a bad show. I wouldn’t choose to watch more if I wasn’t previously invested in DC or Jeremy Jordan, but I’m not dreading the rest, either. Sure, I was hoping for more, but there is still potential as the show moves forward. I hope it is as successful as the other current DC shows.

xx. Shelby Jo