Movie review: “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

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“You see, Clark Joe, what we call ‘God’ depends upon our tribe, because God is tribal. God takes sides! No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from daddy’s fist and abominations. I figured out way back that if God is all-powerful, He cannot be all good. And if He is all good, then He cannot be all-powerful…and neither can you be.”

I began sharpening my metaphorical knives in preparation for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice from almost the moment it was first announced; from the moment Ben Affleck was controversially tapped to slip into the departing Christian Bale’s cowl as the caped crusader; in truth, from the moment the (approx.) fourth hour of Superman origin redux/endurance grit-a-thon Man of Steel’s overbearing climax began and my face more or less went numb. You didn’t need to be a prognosticator to feel something in the wind besides dust and falling debris. There was simply no way that grim, audacious, titanic experience would prove to be a standalone anything. Although technically a Man of Steel sequel, Dawn’s above title billing is surely no accident. Continue reading “Movie review: “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)”

Movie review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

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“Does anybody remember when I put a missile through a portal, in New York City? We were standing right under it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust weapons dealers the whole doo-da-day, but how do we cope with something like that?”

“Together.”

“We’ll lose.”

“We’ll do that together too.”

Whereas comic book superheroes and heroines have a long-standing, time-tested, free-swinging tradition of either brokering guest appearances in one another’s pages or, occasionally, full-on intramural team collaborations against a common enemy and/or towards a common goal, superhero movies have generally operated in hermetically sealed bubbles all their own, using house money and fighting the simplest, most obvious threats. Marvel’s decision, circa 2006, to revamp its existing film studio into something more robust and thus shepherd its own projects, independent of the sort of uninformed, high level meddling that helped turn promising sequels like Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand into underwhelming, overstuffed disappointments, or worse, didn’t immediately signal a seismic shift in the superhero game, though it did strike most observers as a pretty good idea. Little could anyone then have truly realized the scope of Marvel’s master plan Continue reading “Movie review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)”

Movie Review: “Man of Steel” (2013)

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“Can’t I just keep pretending I’m your son?”

“You are my son.”

When the existence of Man of Steel was first publicized over a year ago, the next words on every interested party’s lips were almost invariably “Christopher Nolan”. Flush from the success of Inception and, especially, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan was Hollywood’s new master of the big budget blockbuster. If anyone could successfully reboot the long dormant “Superman” franchise for the Comic Book movie-obsessed 21st Century, the reasoning went, surely it would be him. Continue reading “Movie Review: “Man of Steel” (2013)”