One of the biggest stories out of the summer and into the later stages of fall was whether or not DC Comics and Warner Brothers could follow the success of this past summers Wonder Woman with their own superhero team up movie Justice League. The one thing the company wanted to avoid was another mishap like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but I decided to check out the film and present it as this week’s Movie Of The Week. The film seems to take place a year or so after the events of BVS with the world mourning the death of their beloved Superman (Henry Cavill). The world will soon be under distress once again when mysterious madman Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) comes to Earth to try and collect three boxes that will surely usher the end of the world. Batman (Ben Affleck) has to find a way to unite all these interesting beings that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) had unveiled to try and fight against Steppenwolf before it’s too late. The film also stars Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa (Game Of Thrones) as Aquaman, Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals) as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King) as Alfred, Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman) as Queen Hippolyta, J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) as Mera, and the film was directed by Zack Snyder (300).
I have over the last week or so have heard some mixed emotions about the film itself and whether it lives up to the billing or not and while some of it may be frustrating to you at least hear me out. I had a couple of concerns heading into the film with one being how are they going to work all of them together in one film and what was the overall feel of the film going to be. Is this the greatest film in the whole DC Universe? While in the end I truly believe now that BVS was good, this was a better film than that, but not better than Wonder Woman. I thought the way they presented all of the characters certainly worked for them because it felt sort of natural to me. The film in my opinion had the right amount of humor to go along with what DC’s overall look is and the chemistry feel natural to me as well. The action scenes were great and I even loved some of the sets they visit like Atlantis, etc. The one thing I sort of had an issue with was some of the CGI in the film because some of it was kind of cheesy at times. Other than that, it was a fun film to go in and watch without trying to be to analytical and judgmental. I was just super excited because my favorite superhero finally made an onscreen appearance in Aquaman. You don’t have to take my word for it, but I would at least give it a watch or two especially if you love some of these characters as I do. I am going to give Justice League an B+ for a final grade.
Whenever there are movies released that feature Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition), I tend to flock to the local theater to see it because he’s amazing. That was definitely the case for today’s film when I saw that he was starring in the film Nocturnal Animals. Amy Adams (The Arrival) plays art gallery owner Susan Morrow, a woman with too much on her mind who is haunted by her wrongdoings to her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal). 20 years after she left him, he delivers a book for her to read and she soon realizes that it symbolically represents their past relationship in a very twisted way. The story in the book follows a man whose wife and child are abducted, raped, and killed and he seeks revenge for what has happened to them. The film also stars Michael Shannon (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Bobby Andes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ray Marcus, Ilsa Fisher (The Brothers Grimsby) as Laura Hastings, Ellie Bamber (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies) as India Hastings, Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Hutton Morrow, Karl Glusman (The Neon Demon) as Lou, Robert Aramayo (Game Of Thrones) as Turk, Laura Linney (Sully) as Anne Sutton, Michael Sheen (Alice In Wonderland) as Carlos, and the film was directed by Tom Ford (A Single Man).
Spoiler Alert: There may be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First of all the film starts off with an uncomfortable sequence of heavily obese women dancing naked and I get it it’s art and that we shouldn’t judge, but it’s just hard to watch. After that, it’s smooth sailing through the rest of the film that is just absolutely amazing and so well written. There is nudity from now and again, but it’s almost in an artistic way and if you love red heads like me then you love this film. Then there is the performances int he film that are just all around amazing from no matter who. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does an amazing job playing a West Texas creep while Michael Shannon plays the detective who will go to any lengths to get his man because he’s dying anyways. Amy Adams is absolutely terrific in the film as this woman who realizes that everything in the book is symbolic of what happened in her life. That is what I loved about the film because the further it goes, the more you realize how connected everything is even though it may not seem that way. For one the story is about a rape and murder of a wife and child and it’s a reflection of their time together. The cinematography is amazing with the different tones that are incorporated into the film and just the overall scenery which becomes a part of the story. This may be one of my favorite films of the year and another Gyllenhaal film that I absolutely loved. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.
Every now and again a good sci-fi film is always in order and it seems that every year a critical acclaimed one comes out. Then there re those films that garner so much buzz because of a 100% (97 at the moment) rating on Rotten Tomatoes like today’s film in the Arrival. Louise Baker (Man Of Steel’s Amy Adams) is a Linguistics professor at a local college whose life is ordinary until they show up. When I say they, I mean these 12 strange alien pods that appear in 12 different locations around the world. Naturally, the first thing we want to do is find out why they are here and if they want to destroy us. So, Louise will lead a team an elite team of investigators with her into the ships to try and figure out their language in order to try and communicate with them. The film also stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ian Donnelly, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Halpern, Forrest Whitaker (Taken 3) as Colonel Weber, Tzi Ma (The Ladykillers) as General Shang, Mark O’Brien (The Last Tycoon) as Captain Marks, Abigail Pniowsky (Channel Zero) as Eight Year Old Hannah, Max Walker (I’m Not There) as Private Miller, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. This is one of those films that you may leave the theater either wondering how it received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or what the hell just happened? The whole film they are trying to figure out why they are here and we are watching as she decodes the language. They eventually get to a point where the Aliens have told them that they have given them a weapon or a gift. Now they and you are wondering just what is the weapon or gift that they are speaking of? When it hits you eventually at the end, you are like what kind of gift is that and why is she the only one to receive it? You are also led to believe in the film that she has had a daughter and she passed away, but this gift she receives at the end will distort what is reality at this point. I left the theater confused with all of these questions and that kind of bothered me because I was really enjoying the film up to that point. The cinematography is incredible and the way they mess with your depth perception at one point with the cameras is killer. Amy Adams is masterful in the film as well as all the others in it and it’s a pretty good story. It’s just that the ending is a little confusing and doesn’t make any sense to me. This may be one of those films that you may have to see twice. The aliens were OK looking as they looked giant octopuses with hand like tentacles, but they look like a human hand pretending that there hand is a creature walking. This is a tough one to grade because of the fact that while I enjoyed it, the ending bothered me. Therefore, I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade right now unless I change my mind.
Even if you are not a big fan of DC Comics and any of there extended universe, you have to admit that Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is one of the most anticipated movies of the year so far. This is the second film in the DC Extended Universe and it once again stars Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel) as Superman as we deal with the aftermath of what happened in the first film. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) feels like he has taken the worst hit of all as Wayne Tower in Metropolis came crashing down. Bruce begins to make it his mission to destroy Superman, who at the moment is under a lot of scrutiny in the public eye, but the two may have to put their differences aside as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has a devious plan up his sleeve for the world as he unleashes Doomsday. The film also stars Gal Gadot (Fast Five) as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams (American Hustle) as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne (Boyz N The Hood) as Perry White, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King) as Alfred, Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona) as Senator Finch, Scoot McNairy (Argo) as Wallace Keefe, Callan Mulvey (Captain America: Winter Soldier) as Anatoli, Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) as Mercy, and the film was directed by Zack Snyder.
Now the moment you all have been waiting for and that is what did I think of the film? Overall, I will say that I liked the film and that I thought it was a decent effort from DC Comics. The first half of the film in my opinion was not what I wanted at all from them with a lot of unnecessary nonsense. It literally bounced all over the place and the dream sequences were unnecessary. The second half of the film when it starts to fall in place is where the film gets really good. That is what I call the money sequences and it all happens as Lex Luthor starts to reveal himself and his plans for the world leading up to the battle scene. The battle sequence between Batman and Superman is really good right up until it ends. It ends and they become best friends all of a sudden which was about the only thing that bothered me about that. Then it gets really good again when Doomsday is revealed and Wonder Woman comes to play. I liked Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor but at times he seemed to resemble The Joker a little too much. Gal Gadot did a really good job as Wonder Woman so I look forward to seeing a film from her in the future. I really liked Ben Affleck as Batman, but I hated his suit because it made him overly bulky like he was a bodybuilder. Jeremy Irons as Alfred was a real hit in my opinion just because of his wittiness and the way he handles Batman. DC in my opinion is still way behind Marvel as far as the movie universe is concerned, but I look forward to the future as some other Justice League characters were revealed in this film. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because of the first half of the film.