Category Archives: Superheroes

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie review **MAJOR SPOILERS**

Batman V Superman is the movie I have been waiting for my entire life. The first comic book I ever picked was a World’s Finest comic when I was 5 years old and since I lived in India at the time, we would get these issues all out of order.

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The movie starts with a focus on Batman & rightly so since in this universe Superman has already had his own movie. We see Affleck right in the middle of the Metropolis destruction and you get to see the horrors of the alien invasion caused in the finale when Superman saved mankind through a set of human eyes. The whole sequence is breathtaking, specifically the shot of him running towards a crumbling Wayne building. As soon as you see that moment when he embraces the little girl in the middle of the Zod – Superman fight,  you instantly know that there is no way this guy thinks of Superman as a hero. Another great scene comes in the form of the film’s opening montage. Now, since every incarnation of Batman gets his own origin scene. I know going in that I wouldn’t be too keen on this & well, I was very wrong. Snyder keeps this short, dark & symbolic to the point that it will have it’s own artistic value in the Batman mythos.

Every great superhero has always had great supporting characters surrounding the protagonist I was very worried about that here since we have two. Alfred played by the great Jeremy Irons is the most sarcastic, ill-humored & badass Alfred we have gotten yet.

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This is not only a butler but Bruce’s partner in his war on crime and you can see why he is the way he is given he has been fighting crime 20 years with Wayne now. Their constant banter is the highlight of the movie.

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Affleck gets some great scenes. One particular one is when the trinity are at Luthor’s party but with agendas of their own. They couldn’t have made this scene better and I just loved how Clark could instantly hear Alfred talking into Wayne’s headpiece. The following Bond’esque sequence between Bruce & Diana was great. Since this is our first look at the WW character who is considered by many the greatest female superhero ever I was very wary of  Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the icon. Thankfully in the limited time she has on film Gadot pulls it off. Every scene she is in, she is good. I can now confidently say this – Zack Snyder is an expert in directing powerful women. Faora was the biggest badass in Man of Steel & now Wonder Woman in this one.

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My favorite sequence though besides the actual Batman V Superman battle is the nightmare sequence where Batman sees a possible  dystopian future. You get to see how glum things can actually get if Superman ever goes rogue and you get to see a glimpse of a cinematic Flash – which was spectacular. Besides being an amazing sequence this reinforces Wayne’s belief to take down Superman.

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Talking about characters, lets jump into the next new one we are introduced here – Lex Luthor. Portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg here, this was something I was very doubtful about. There has been so many renditions of the character in the books that I was not sure which Lex we are going to see here. Eisenberg plays the crazy one. There are multiple allegorical references here as how he perceives Superman and why he has this pathological hatred towards god which actually stems his hatred for Superman. He plays this ADHD clumsy Lex well, but fans of the animated series will be disappointed since we don’t see the calm calculated villain we were expecting. I do see however why that choice was made. This movie needed an animated character between the world-weary Batman & the almighty ideal Superman.

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Cavill plays Superman with a lot more conviction here. He is still struggling to find his place in society and fazed by the age old comic book question – “Does the world need a Superman?”, strikes the perfect balance between the christ-like empathy needed for Superman & the day-to-day human struggles that Clark Kent faces as a reporter. The more scenes we see of him, Perry & Lois, the more you realize how desperately we need a standalone sequel to Man of Steel.

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The best part of the film is the fight when these titans collide in full glory. Like Man of Steel, Snyder gets rid of a very crucial plot device from the books – How can a genius like Lex not know who Superman is? Well, guess what? He does and not only does he know who Superman is, he also knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. I have seen a lot of comic book movies but none show a fight even remotely closer to what you see here. It just shows how invulnerable & how relentless both Superman and Batman respectively are and yes, there is a winner.

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The final battle with Doomsday although very engaging came as a huge surprise to me. Like many others I was thinking we would see a proto-Doomsday fight the trinity. Surprisingly the movie went into Death of Superman and closed on one of the biggest cliffhangers.  This makes a lot more sense and I applaud Warner Brothers for making such a bold choice.

My biggest gripe in the film was Doomsday. The CG used was not the greatest and they could have definitely made it better given the time they had on their hands since this film was completed a year and a half ago. I had the same gripe with the Force Awakens which came out later last year where the CG was pretty bad for the Snoke character. In terms of completely CG characters I think everyone should take a page out of Marvel’s book as how they finally got the Hulk right after so many failed attempts.

Overall, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a spectacle film, not without it’s faults but a spectacle nevertheless. Watch it in surround sound in IMAX for the full experience. I saw it in AMC prime (a bit of a unsponsored plug here) and it was totally worth it.

Deadpool movie review

Deadpool is the first superhero movie of 2016 – which is being deemed as potentially the biggest year for comic book movies yet with 8 big movies of the genre coming out( Batman V Superman, Captain America: Civil War, X Men: Apocalypse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Suicide Squad & finally Doctor Strange). Considering the impressive line-up here in my head I just thought that Deadpool to be good and let my expectations not sky-rocket after the more-than-awesome marketing campaign for the movie. Regardless, even if Deadpool was alright, it would be considered an achievement considering the character is a total unknown in pop-culture.

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Deadpool is a fast-paced hilarious revenge drama starring Ryan Reynolds(Wade Wilson) as our titular superhero, Morena Baccarin(Vanessa) as the not-so-much-of-a-damsel-in-distress girlfriend, T.J. Miller(Weasel) as the not-much-of-a-friend friend and Ed Skrein (Ajax)as the main antagonist. Reynolds is used perfectly here as the fast talking mercenary and you get a flavor of the entire movie right from the opening credits. Deadpool is very unique in a lot of aspects, the biggest one being just how meta it is. Wilson talks repeatedly to the audience in snarky monologues which constitute the best elements in the film.

DEADPOOL Wade Wilson (Ryan Reyonlds) and new squeeze Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) trade some pointed barbs, in DEADPOOL. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
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Wade Wilson (Ryan Reyonlds) and new squeeze Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) trade some pointed barbs, in DEADPOOL.
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

Another big change here is how the love interest is treated: Vanessa is not your typical damsel in distress but a very fitting partner to Wade and the screenplay makes it just fit perfectly. Miller’s Weasel is equal parts unlikeable & funny and his bar is equally a character a la the Continental in John Wick. The plot is eerily simple but the execution is terrific considering how often Deadpool continuously breaks the fourth wall and how Miller has used that to move the film forward is ingenious.

DEADPOOL Angel Dust (Gina Carano) roughs up barkeep Weasel (T.J. Miller), in DEADPOOL. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
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Angel Dust (Gina Carano) roughs up barkeep Weasel (T.J. Miller), in DEADPOOL.
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

Additionally, a special shout-out to Karan Soni who plays the innocuous Dopinder, Deadpool’s ride for his missions. I can bet good money that he is coming back for sequel. Also, Brianna Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead is as badass as it sounds.

DEADPOOL Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) pounces on an adversary. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
DEADPOOL
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) pounces on an adversary.
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

Finally, without delving into any spoilers I’d like to succinctly say: Deadpool is no masterpiece. Please don’t go in expecting the next Dark Knight but that definitely doesn’t limit the film in any way from being the meta phenomena it is touted as.

The Flash Season 1 Review[Spoiler warning]

BarryAllen_The FlashThe Flash has been one of the coolest superheroes out there: the guy cracks jokes, zings around and always saves the day with a one liner that makes you smile. Here, of course I am talking about the Wally West version of the character. That has always been the version I have been exposed to, be it the comic books or the classic Justice League show. On a side note, Michael Rosenbaum, who played the live action Lex Luthor on Smallville voiced the Flash on that show and did an amazing job.  Being such a Wally West fan I was pretty skeptical when it was announced that Barry Allen would be the protagonist of the show. I haven’t been much of a Allen fan since my only exposure to him was the classic “Crisis on Infinite Earths“, which you have to check out if you haven’t already and Geoff Johns’s amazing The Flash Rebirth. Johns is one of those guys at DC who they call up whenever they want to revitalize a character and the guy is one of the best comic book writers out there. What made it a must see for me was that he is one of the creators on the show too. Finally comic book writers are getting the credit they deserve thanks to the golden age of cinematic superheroes.

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The pilot introduces us to a Barry Allen who is struck by lightening while also giving us relevant flashbacks as how he was traumatized as a  kid when his mom was killed in a freak accident and his dad is sent to prison for it. As a result we see a Barry Allen that is very different from the one in the books: the childhood trauma made him very unsure of himself and he is not the self assured hero we’re used to seeing in the books. The CW template of surrounding the protagonist with a mixed supporting cast is aptly applied here by having a crew that is trying to revive Barry from his coma and we’re introduced to everyone’s favorite nerd Cisco, Caitlin & Harrison Wells dubbed as one of the visionaries of the century along with Joe, Barry’s adoptive father and Iris, his sister/crush (creepy, I know). The pilot had a very Smallville’ish feel to it and when I say Smallville I mean the good portions of that show and not the powderpuff girls show which it turned into. In the final moments of the pilot though you get to realize what the show can be capable of.

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I was pretty doubtful even after watching the pilot though. CW has a very cruel bait and switch track record which is what kept me hooked but unsatisfied from Smallville. I had a feeling that the discovery of his own powers with a possible glimpse of Reverse Flash would be Season 1 and man was I wrong. If memory serves me right because i just binged the show, even the first four episodes which are primarily CW filler material keep you glued just because of Harrison Wells(Tom Cavanagh). Grant Gustin’s Allen is the moral anchor of the story while Cavanagh’s Wells is the propeller.

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In typical CW fashion we’re always introduced to a rogue of the week but here that actually progresses the story pretty darn well. The prison break duo of Wentworth Miller & Dominic Purcell make a comeback playing Captain Cold & Heatwave. They ham it up way too much but that does play to the show’s strengths. Here is a show that shows that comic book pop-culture references when done right and with the right balance even on a network like CW can result in greatness. Cold’s one-liners do make you cringe but when followed by action set-pieces like when the Flash saves an entire train full of people in super speed more than makes up for it. I can definitely do without Heatwave though I think he is in there just for PrisonBreak nostalgia.

 

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As the episodes progress we get to see how deep the rabbit hole actually goes when it comes to Harrison Wells. It’s not long when Barry starts to see through the facade.  Harrison Wells as it turns out is the Reverse-Flash or RF, one of Allen’s most formidable villains. The origin of RF is the most intriguing  plot point this season and something that might be quite lacking from the next one. Cavanagh brings such a dramatic flair to the character which would be missed guessing from the Finale, but then again this is DC Comics we’re talking about where their are infinite Earths with Infinite crisis. Another landmark for the series is how they handled the budget. They managed to portray Flash, The Reverse Flash & Grodd on a CW TV budget and gave us a show that is clearly the best superhero show on television(Daredevil fans calm your horses)

 

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The Flash is a must see for anyone who is interested in watching a good sci-fi show. I’ll rate it a solid 8/10.