Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

I really didn't want to be one of those people who seemed to hate "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" before I saw it, so I tried — I really, really tried — to keep an open mind going into it. When I saw some reviews on twitter after its premiere from DC fans who called it "amazing," I admit it. I became hopeful.  There was a part of me that actually believed it could be true.

Oh, disappointment is a horrible beast.

I won't get into too many spoilers, so I'll try to be as general as possible in my assessment. Also, I might give spoilers. I might not, but you've been warned.

Oh, before I start, "Walking Dead" fans like me will get excited and weirded out for a minute because Bruce Wayne's parents are played by the actors who play Maggie and Negan. I mean, how cool and weird is that?!? Maggie and Negan!


First of all, I still want to punch Zach Snyder in the face. His version of Superman is so much less than what the character deserves, and it's glaringly obvious in this movie. In "Batman v Superman," Clark/Supes is very sloppy and feels like an empty shell of this iconic character. I realize in this story that he's very young at being Superman and therefore prone to making mistakes, but honestly guys, I don't get the feeling he's trying very hard to improve. He spends way too much time focused on saving Lois, which I kind of love because I'm a big Lois-Clark shipper, but no, because it's kind of taken to the extreme here in a way that makes both of them come across as dumber than bricks. Plus, it's been 18 months since the events of "Man of Steel." I would expect a lot more remorse from Clark considering the amount of destruction and loss of life from his battle with Zod. There are a few glimpses of it here and there, but it's brushed off far too easily. He is still very brooding and kind of mopey, but I think it's mainly because mostly everyone in this movie hates him. Yep, a good part of the world hates Superman. WHAT?!?

Batman, of course, seems to hate him most of all because of what went down in Metropolis in "Man of Steel." That's the basic setup of this movie, which shows, by the way, a lot of favoritism for the Dark Knight. This is basically a Batman movie with Superman and some other Justice League cameos thrown in because.

I am predisposed to dislike any movie with Superman as a main character that then proceeds to torture, dehumanize, and degrade him for about 75% of the story. My heart hurt, y'all. It seriously did, and I teared up more than once because the hatred shown toward Superman is so tangible. My guy goes through a lot in this movie. There are some light scenes between him and Lois that gave me hope, but blip, and they're gone and both he and I were depressed again.

Lois Lane also suffers at Snyder's hands this time around. She did a lot of dumb things that are not very Lois Lane-like.

Snyder, I want to punch you in the face so bad right now.

Wonder Woman is, hands down, the best part of this movie. Gal Gadot did a great job bringing her to the big screen, and Snyder — amazingly — did not screw her up. Granted, she's only briefly in the movie and that's mostly as Diana Prince, but who cares? She's awesome. I did like the way they introduced the other Justice League characters, although my friend who is not a big DC fan like me had no idea that it was The Flash in a certain dream sequence with Bruce. I also went, "Wait. Is that The Flash? Or Zoom? Who is that?" while it was happening. I also had no idea what he was saying, mostly. Yeah, I don't think any of it had anything to do with the plot. *sighs*

By the way, there are a lot of dream sequences in this movie, and basically none of them make sense.

I am on the fence about Lex Luther as played by Jesse Eisenberg. He is immensely unlikable. He gives rambling speeches that are abstract and disjointed, but I guess it's supposed to show how crazy he is. I don't even know. This is the most despicable version of Lex Luther I've ever seen anyway, so I guess he did a good job. What he does to Martha Kent is...I can't even. Actually, what he does to Holly Hunter's character is gross and...I can't even.

I'm curious if fans of Batman end up loving this movie because I can see why they would.  My theater was full of DC fanboys when I saw it. I know because I overheard some of their conversations beforehand. None of them had very high expectations. Afterward, I overheard one say, "Well, that was about what I expected." Another loved it and was raving about it. Mostly, they were, "Meh. It was OK." I won't begin to guess whether you will like it, and it's OK if you do. I've seen some arguments by both haters and lovers, so yes, some people loved this movie. There was no standing ovation in my screening. No one clapped, ever. There was simply silence, followed by a few sighs.

I will give props to the fight between Batman and Superman when it happens. I thought it was well done, mostly.

OK. So here are some really big spoilers for this movie. If you're a comic book fan, you probably already know some of this because of Doomsday being in the movie, plus the Internet, but whatever.

Ready? If not, skip ahead to the end of spoiler note now.


Snyder tosses in the Death of Superman plot.  The movie ends after a double funeral for Clark and Superman. SNYDER KILLED SUPERMAN. Yes, I know he's not really dead, I read the comics, but to sit through 2 and 1/2 hours of Superman being tortured only to watch him die was almost more than I could take. It's also very hard to watch in live action as opposed to seeing on a comic book page. It really affected me. I was seriously, seriously depressed leaving this movie.

This movie is so dark. I would not take kids to see it, especially younger than 13. Why? It is hopeless and depressing, that's why. This is absolutely an adult movie in that regard.

Also, there are a ton of hints about Darkseid being the villain coming up for the Justice League movie. Lex's crazy speech about the dark coming confirms it, and I did notice that the box that creates Cyborg appears to be the Darkseid technology from the comics, although I don't know much about Cyborg and I don't think that's his real origin story, but OK. And the last shot of the movie is dirt lifting away from Clark's coffin, which I suppose is a shout-out to Darkseid, although I'll be honest and admit I didn't understand that at all. Was that because of Darkseid?


Also, if you do go see this movie, don't sit through the entire credits because there isn't a teaser to the Justice League movie after them. Trust me. I checked.

Don't worry. I still love you, Henry Cavill, and thank you for that all-too-brief shot of your naked chest in that one scene. Seriously. I needed it.

That's it. That's enough.

Now I'll go weep silently in the corner so my cat can judge me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book progress and my ramblings on 'Batman v. Superman'

Welp, here it is March 2016. Yes, I’m still alive and kicking!

First, I want to thank all of the amazing folks who have discovered my books in recent months. I continue to get emails asking when my next book is coming out, so I want to let you all know that I am working on it. To say 2015 was a rough year for me personally is an understatement, and 2016 has been no less challenging. That said, I am now working hard to finish Connor’s story in my psychic detectives series and get it shipped off to my lovely editor. I know I’ve said that before, but I am determined to get his story right, and that means I have had to do some massive rewrites because I wasn’t happy with the first draft I churned out. Don’t worry. I think his story will be better for it! Fingers crossed.

Now, I hope you’ll indulge me for the rest of this post, which will focus on my favorite guy in blue tights — Superman. I’ve declared my love for the superhero before and you can go back and read that here if you want. I also reviewed “Man of Steel” which still continues to get hits (why? I have no idea) so you can read that, too.

Obviously, I’m going to write about “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” too, and I thought it would be interesting to share my expectations before I see the movie. I’ll be posting a review, too, probably Friday morning so check back here for my spoiler-free reaction.

So, let’s talk about Superman and why I’m both excited to see “Batman v. Superman” and why I’m dreading it almost as much as that time my editor forced me to write a review of “Fifty Shades of Grey” the movie.

Here’s why in five words. The movie’s director, Zach Snyder. I was never much of a fan before “Man of Steel,” and I now dislike him immensely, mainly because anytime someone calls him out for ruining Superman’s character in “Man of Steel,” his argument is that he gets Superman better than the fans do. I mean, really?!? Really, Zach Snyder?!?

I'll break this down for you, Mr. Snyder.

Problem No. 1: My beef with “Batman v. Superman” is this in a nutshell. It is supposed to be the sequel to “Man of Steel,” meaning it is supposed to be about Superman, period. And what does Snyder do? He tosses Batman in there. I’m willing to bet without having seen “Batman v. Superman” that it consists of 75% Batman and 25% Superman. I’m sorry, but I just do not like Batman’s dark and dreary gloominess. I simply don’t. I liked The Lego Movie Batman though.

Problem No. 2: The problems I had with “Man of Steel” are likely to be amplified in “Batman v. Superman.” For example, Superman — and yes, I know, there are so many different lines of Superman in the comics that sometimes even in the comics this doesn’t apply, but — he’s good, optimistic, brings hope to people, and cracks jokes every now and then. Those are kind of his underlying traits. 

Now, I love Henry Cavill to the moon and back, and I blame his version of Supes on Snyder, not him. But, for the love of all that is holy, Superman in “Man of Steel” was mopey, destroyed an entire city and then some, spent most of the movie brooding, and rarely cracked a smile. People feared him. They didn’t look to him in hope. I mean, he was gorgeous, but come on. The publicity photos from “Batman v. Superman” show this.

NO! For the love of kittens, Zach Snyder, NOOOOOOOOO!! That is not who Superman really is! Based on the trailer for this movie, he looks like he’s angry and more brooding this time around. What?!? I know Henry is capable of humor and smiling and looking like a fun guy because THIS:

That’s what we need to see more of. Instead of Superman glowering at Batman and Batman glowering back, I’d much rather pay to see this:

I mean, “Superman Returns” had its problems, but it was a much more enjoyable movie than “Man of Steel” and at least Brandon Routh had personality and seemed to be having fun with the role.

Problem No. 3: Wonder Woman. I have been waiting a lifetime to see Wonder Woman on the big screen. I’m actually excited to see what Gal Gadot does here, and I am so rooting for you to pull it off, girl. I really am. However, with Zach Snyder in charge, I imagine she will be dark and brooding and gloomy too. No. Just no. Plus, I am still disgusted she got thrown in like an after thought and will likely (I’m guessing here) only be in the movie for about five minutes. She deserves so much better than that. However, I’m excited a "Wonder Woman" stand alone film is coming and that IT IS NOT directed by Snyder. I'm excited that young girls and boys will have a new Wonder Woman to look up to — I simply hope she’s a worthy representation.

Problem No. 4: This movie looks like a mess simply from the trailer. If a better director had spent time developing Superman’s character, I might be OK with an action-packed beat-down between Superman and Batman. I’m wagering Superman and Clark get very little time to develop here. I mean, what’s going on? At least three or four plotlines, from what I can tell. I can't even.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. You get a slow hand clap if you’ve read this far.

So I’m expecting this to be my reaction when I leave the theater tomorrow night.

If a miracle happens and I actually leave like this instead, I’ll definitely let you know.

In the meantime, I leave you with a production I am certain will be much more enjoyable to watch than the actual "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice."



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