My Gripes With ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

IT’S BATMAN WEEK Y’ALL!!!!!

In anticipation of the most hyped movie of the year for me (already?) I’m looking back on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy a.k.a. the last gritty reboot of the Caped Crusader, which Matt Reeves appears to be one-upping with serious conviction. I’ll be revisiting Nolan’s trilogy and working my way back to Batman beginning again. Nothing excites me more than a year one Batman, and nothing offers perspective quite like an ending. So perhaps it’s the benefit of time that has emboldened me to state this outright: I’ve got some gripes with The Dark Knight Rises.

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We Need to Talk About Justice League

There’s a pivotal moment in Justice League where a weary Bruce Wayne champions Diana to lead the team, not him. The film wants to prove otherwise (THE LEAGUE NEEDS BATMAN). Thing is, the idea isn’t half bad. Wonder Woman is a far more efficient warrior; her steadfastness not only gets the job done, it saves Batman’s life. The film wants its team and its hierarchy, the same way Warner Bros. wants an Avengers-level success (so much so they brought in Joss Whedon). But there is no need for either aside from the machine-churning mentality of the studio blockbuster and a larger, interconnected universe – the new norm in franchise filmmaking. 2017 pushed the superhero into its golden age with stellar entries in the genre, making Justice League the sole casualty of the bunch.  Continue reading

‘Batman v Superman’ Review: Extended Cut Ultimately Doesn’t Do the Film Justice

batman-v-superman-blu-ray-cover-slice-600x200I keep going back to the scene in the desert. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are meeting with a torrential warlord. Olsen takes harmless photos of the interview when Anatoli intervenes. There’s something distinctly meta about this scene. Olsen, a surrogate for director Zack Snyder, and Anatoli, a stand-in for an overbearing studio with an agenda of their own. Anatoli plucks the camera from Olsen, extracts the roll of film and exposes the negative, desecrating the pictures into ruin. Considering Olsen’s doomed fate, I can’t think of a better metaphor that captures the trials that plagued Batman v Superman in the editing suite. Snyder, the idealistic filmmaker, has a vision. But he is beholden to the studio the same way Olsen is beholden to Luthor’s henchman. This gave us the theatrical cut, which Snyder admirably stood by. The Ultimate Edition (the supposed compromise between the studio and Snyder’s original vision) was meant to realign what was supposed to be the greatest fight card in the history of the world. But does a longer movie equate to a better one? Yes and no.  Continue reading

Dawn of DC

batman-vs-superman-trailer-image-56Comic book fans are still reeling from the whirlwind of footage shown at Comic-Con. Trailers for Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman undoubtedly stole the show, and the anticipation for DC’s long-awaited summer pairing is at a fever pitch. We now have a better glimpse at what Warner Bros. is trying to create. It’s grand. It’s demented. And my, is it perfect. Continue reading