Archive for zack snyder

‘Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice’: Yer killin me, Bats

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2016 by aliciamovie

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Zack Snyder

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

I actually liked this version of Batman, but very quickly came to think of him as the Bond kind of Batman. Full of toys and technology, bitter from past failures, effortlessly charming while never actually revealing anything, Ben Affleck somehow manages to bring to mind Daniel Craig’s current run of 007, and that is kind of bewildering. Jeremy Irons as Alfred immediately somehow becomes all the powerful supporting characters of Bonds life, from Moneypenny to M, chiding Batman as he does for his cruelty and yet offering unstinting support in all Batman does. We are offered a morsel of why Bats is this way when he stares at a dark suit in the Batcave a-plastered with Jokersign in sorrow and rage, and even those of us semi-in the know of the DC-verse can tell you, it’s alluding to the death of a Bat companion, most likely one of the Robins.

We learn all of this about Bats piecemeal, but what is immediately established at the outset is that Bats is hurting bad guys. And there are more than a few allusions to him outright killing people, when the situation demanded it. We are supposed to have established by now as just part of the Batman mystique, that Batman never kills, right? Period, end of story. Only now, he might be. But why? We the audience are never actually given an answer, and Bats deserved more.

I know Henry Cavil can act, I’ve seen him do it in The Tudors. You’ll note I don’t say Man of Steel because, while yes I did see it, I didn’t think it was particularly his finest work. A good deal throughout Man of Steel Cavill seemed to have this look of mild confusion, like he couldn’t understand why Superman was acting this way, either. And here he is again, as Superman, biting his lip and frowning the Superbrow but saying nothing as he’s accused and belittled and occasionally even reviled. We don’t expect you to go all Zod-killer on everything, Supes, but you could at least, I dunno, defend yourself.

The whole thing that Superman really needs to defend himself from, that controversy over what happened with Lois Lane, is just a horror-show. And really, Lane herself walks around the entire movie in a kind of dumb-show numbness, gamely doing her best to act as a character that’s been reduced from a woman strong enough to be Supes’ lady, to a whining damsel forever in distress and in eternal need of saving. Lois Lane, the woman that has been associated with Superman the longest, is now a vehicle for what plot there is to move along. Who needs backstory when there’s things to smash?

And then there’s Wonder Woman. Annnnd the other Leaguers. Let’s just cram as much backstory bites as we can into this movie so we can get to the hour of action, yee-ha! Gal Gadot as Diana Prince was perfectly serviceable for the screen time she got, which wasn’t much. I get that the movie is supposed to be a vehicle to the next Justice League DC movies coming out hopefully soonish, but to tack an icon like Wonder Woman onto this already bulging sandwich sub seems really optimistic. Prince has a teeny exchange with Bruce Wayne, is herself used as a vehicle to introduce the videos of the other Justice League potentials, and that is it before she dons those iconic duds and its off to fight Darkseid!

Is it really? Because, it seems to me, that the films actual big-bad is a big let down. The…crazy-Luthor-made from my blood and Zod’s body and something about a Kryptonian ship and a forbidden sort-of-science process turns out this CGI monstrosity that must’ve been a real bitch to fake fight against a green screen. Our actors valiantly battle on and look pretty good doing it, I have to give them that, Snyder can make the shit out of an action scene, oh yes. But he failed us at making any kind of scary villain for his opus movie.

And what about the Leaguers? This is another instance of trying to include way too much stuff into one movie. Dark Knight Rises suffered mildly from that too, but the BvS version is just a big ole hot mess. We see a robbery foiled by a speedster with that gold lightning bolt and we know, the Flash will be there in the next movie for sure. There’s already some minor controversy over the fact that Ezra Miller and not Grant Gustin will play Flash in the next movie, but that’s only if you watch tv at all. (I’m undecided as yet; I saw Miller do an astounding job in We Need to Talk About Kevin, but based on that, his version of Barry Allen will be quite different.) Next we have Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and his video moment was enough to elicit gasps, but all we got was a moment. And hey look, Ray Fisher as Cyborg is being tortured, I mean, helped, by his father Silas Stone. Each of these moments is our very brief introduction to the updated versions of the Justice League, an icon of DC comics that’s existed for decades. Boy that’s a lot of pressure. But Snyder is full steam ahead to get to the punching and the throwing of people around!

We’ve come round to Lex Luthor. And I have to agree with the general consensus: what the hell was that? I’ve actually liked some of Jesse Eisenberg’s roles, he does awkward-charming fairly well. Him as Snyder’s version of Lex Luthor was neither awkward nor charming, nor even coherent half the time. Luthor seems to a warped mirror face of the Luthor we normally know, mad with power and determined to stop at nothing to stop Superman. This Lex laughs at the most inappropriate things, rants like he’s a mini-Caesar, has genuine nervous tics and could be Norman Bates’ cousin. Lex Luthors known powerful voice and his ability to deliver the epic speech as Supermans ultimate nemesis is in evidence nowhere in here, and that is a shame. Even his determination and reasons for sending Darkseid against both Superman and Batman are at best muddy, at worst incomprehensible. We all know Lex Luthors Superman obsession drives him to do all sorts of crazy things, but we’re talking Legion of Doom kind of evil, not John Gacy with an alien fetish. Bond-Bats needs his Oberhauser and Nine Eyes, after all.

And yes, we will address the elephant in the room called, “Martha.” Now, while it never occurred to me until right then when the movie pointed it out, that the two orphans shared a love for a momma whose name was Martha, it can’t possibly be enough to halt the fighting right in its tracks like someone had flipped a switch. I call shenanigans. I mean, sure, Supes and Bats can stare at each-other a bit and perhaps have an actual conversation as they stagger to their feet, but this cannot instantly make them on the same side. We are denied what could finally be a beautifully written piece of drama between Batman and Superman, and it’s yet another shame.

Director Zack Snyder is a total fanboy and wants to do justice to the storylines at DC that he grew up loving, we can all totally get behind that. The trouble is he loves it all so much, he wants to try and include every last bit he can get away with, including an exclusive to DVD R-rating directors cut nonsense. Which will likely bring the whole movie, Snyder’s ultimate vision of it anyway, up to three solid hours of stuffing every single last sock he can find into the washing machine and hitting psycho-spin-cycle!

See, we here at the superhero-watching geek community have become mildly jaded on the whole superhero action movie deal. Marvel blockbusters don’t thrill quite as much as they used to, and Nolan’s Batman only proved how far and how dark beloved familiar characters can go. We’d be perfectly fine with a properly marketed hour and a half or so of nothing but Bats and Supes wailing on each-other, have at it! These pinches and dashes of plot from fanboy Snyder are trying to turn the action stew into a full-on film casserole, and a lot of us just don’t have the patience for pretentiousness anymore. And, it should be noted, you’ve set the bar really fucking high for the Justice League movie. Like, almost impossibly high.

The internet says Ben Affleck will be returning to direct and star in the next, I assume it is, standalone Batman film. Which I’m actually totally okay with, because if you remove all the external noise and fluff from around Bats in BvS, Batfleck is actually pretty hot. Just make sure you keep Jeremy Irons as Alfred on, damn it.

Next up in the DC movie-verse is Suicide Squad, and I think most fans are looking forward to it. After this  terrible version of a bad guy, we deserve to be treated to a whole squad of unapologetic real villains. And don’t get me wrong, there are some redeeming things to BvS, sure there are. Our collective expectations for a vehicle epic enough to open the door for the Justice League movies may have been a shade unrealistic, but no-one can deny that Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice is a bombastic movie that nearly any fan can at least enjoy parts of!

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Spike Scream Awards 2009 Voting Begins

Posted in Action, Cartoon, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Historical, horror, Movies, Musical, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by aliciamovie

SPIKE TV ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR “SCREAM 2009”-

“STAR TREK” TOPS LIST WITH 17 NOMINATIONS

 4th Annual Global Event Honoring The Blockbuster, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and Comic Book Genres of the Year

Tapes Saturday, October 17 At The Greek Theater In Los Angeles

 “SCREAM 2009” Nominees Chosen By Advisory Board of Hollywood And Genre Leaders Including

Tim Burton, Wes Craven, Roland Emmerich, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Eli Roth,

Zack Snyder And Many More

 Two-Hour Event To Reveal Exclusive World Premiere Footage Of The Most Anticipated Releases of 2010

 Voting Begins Today Only At Scream.Spike.com

 

New York, NY, August 31, 2009 – “Resistance is futile” this October as Spike TV
<http://www.spike.com/>  presents the fourth annual “SCREAM,” the first and only
global event of its kind to honor the best in  sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic
genres.  Taping on Saturday, October 17 at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA,
“SCREAM 2009” celebrates the hottest films, tv shows, comics, actors, creators,
icons and pioneers who have influenced and shaped the industry.  This year’s show
will also continue the tradition of featuring exclusive World Premieres from some of
the most anticipated movies of 2010.  The two-hour extravaganza will premiere on
Spike TV on Tuesday, October 27 (10:00 PM-Midnight, ET/PT).  Presenters and musical
performers will be announced shortly.
 
“Eight out of the 10 highest grossing films of all time are in  the ‘SCREAM’ genres,
which is due to the incredible passion and loyalty of these fans,” said Casey
Patterson, executive producer of “SCREAM 2009” and senior vice president of event
production, talent development and studio relations for Spike TV.  “We’re thrilled
to once again to present the only global event honoring their heroes.”
 
Some of the nominees’ reactions include:
“Without all of the fans, the claws would have been sheathed a long time ago! 
Thank you so much,” said Hugh Jackman after hearing he was nominated for two
“SCREAM” awards and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was nominated for 13.
 
“Everyone knows it's the VILLAINS who have the most fun.  Thanks to the ‘SCREAM’
team and congrats to everyone at ‘True Blood.’  This is very exciting for the whole
show,” said Best Villain nominee and star of  HBO’s “True Blood” Alexander
Skarsgard. 
 
"Thank you for the nomination and thank you for letting me frighten you.  I look
forward to doing it again sometime soon,” said Ryan Kwanten after hearing he was
nominated for Best Horror Actor for his role as Jason Stackhouse on “True Blood.”
"Getting nominated for kissing a Vulcan is a better fate than logic," said “Star
Trek’s” Zoe Saldana after getting word she received two “SCREAM” Awards nominations
for Best Breakout Performance: Female and Best Science Fiction Actress.
J.J. Abrams’ Sci-Fi action-adventure “Star Trek” tops the list with 17 nominations
including The Ultimate Scream, Best Science Fiction Movie, Best Director, Best
Ensemble, Holy Sh*t Scene of the Year and a nod in the all-new Fight-to-the-Death
Scene of the Year category.  Comic book-inspired blockbusters “X-Men Origins:
Wolverine” and “Watchmen” each nabbed 13 nominations, while HBO’s vampire-themed
television series “True Blood” garnered nine nominations. 
Ballots were sent out to Spike TV’s “SCREAM 2009” advisory board, consisting of some
of the most respected and well-known members of the horror, sci-fi, fantasy and
comic book worlds who were responsible for advising on categories and determining
nominees in each category.  All films, television shows and comic books were deemed
eligible for inclusion if they were released between August 9, 2008 and July 15,
2009 and were representative of the genres listed.  Winners will be determined by
online voting at scream.spike.com <http://www.spike.com/event/scream2009/> .

 

 

Esteemed members of this year’s advisory board* include:

*A full list of Spike TV’s 2009 Advisory Board members can be found on spike.com.

 

Tim Burton, (writer/director/producer “Edward Scissorhands”)

Wes Craven (writer/director “A Nightmare on Elm Street”)        

Roland Emmerich (writer/producer/director, “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “2012”)

Neil Gaiman (writer/producer “Beowulf,” “Stardust,” “Mirrormask”)

Frank Miller (writer/producer/director “Sin City,” “300,” writer/producer “The Spirit”)                                      

Eli Roth (writer/producer/director, “Hostel,” “Cell”, “Cabin Fever”)         

Zack Snyder (director, “300,” “Watchmen”)

Beginning today, Monday, August 31 and continuing until Saturday, October 17 fans can vote for their favorites, as well as view exclusive red carpet and backstage coverage of the event, by visiting scream.spike.com.

Watchmen

Posted in Action, Comics, Fantasy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by aliciamovie

 

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Zack Snyder

Review Rating: 8

 

Set in an alternate world where it’s 1985 and costumed superheroes have been a way of life, only to be shut down by the government. The Doomsday Clock is counting down to nuclear war, and when someone begins picking off the retired superheroes, the wonderfully nuts vigilante Rorschach goes looking for the culprit.

 

As usual, despite being a big comic book fan, I haven’t read the graphic novel this movie is based off of. Which means I will be reporting from the movie-fan side of things, and that is all. With that in mind, off we go!

 

Watchmen promises, with it’s teaser trailers and who knows how much money thrown into advertising promos, a wild romp of masked heroes and astounding visual effects, and the movie doesn’t fail to deliver at all. Ranked right up there with Iron Man and the X-Men movies, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. I don’t know how they made the Dr. Manhattan look all toxic blue throughout the entire movie, I would guess they did it in a way similar to Sin City was shot. Nevertheless, the effect is striking. I did greatly enjoy the way Rorschach’s mask moved constantly, and the man they got to play that character, Jackie Haley, delivers a performance of skin crawling power! It’s a bit hard to believe, but bear with me when I say, the man playing the second Nite Owl, Patrick Wilson, is the same man who played Raoul in the most recent movie version of The Phantom of the Opera. Who sadly looks like a total nerd bomb, until he finally tosses on the Nite Owl suit and proceeds to kick serious ass. Malin Akerman as the second Silk Spectre is more or less fine, personally I think she looks much better as a brunette. Then again, much like Elektra, I find it very hard to believe that any woman can kick that much bad guy butt in spike heels and long hair. And of course, there’s Jeffrey Morgan as the Comedian and Carla Gugino as the original Silk Spectre. I had difficulties most of the time with Morgan, I couldn’t help thinking he reminded me sooo much of Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, and once again I do mean that as a compliment. Even the character seemed somewhat similar.

 

So we have an alternate universe as I understand it, where it’s 1985 and the world is heading for nuclear war/annihilation, Nixon is still in office and the Watchmen, who protected the cities of the world with their masks, have been disbanded. Then, the Comedian is murdered and it sets off a whole series of events that bring the children of the original Watchmen together one final time. Be warned, there are several moments of complete nudity involving Dr. Manhattan. I thought of it more as being like a baby is completely selfless about his nudity, so is Dr. Manhattan. And this movie raises all sorts of interesting questions about morals and ethics, things like Pyrrhic victories and the ends justifying the means. It is not, at all, a movie for kids 12 and under, I think. But young adults, especially children of the 80s like me, will adore Watchmen!

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Who watches the Watchmen? The whole world!