“Suicide Squad” on IMDB
Action/Adventure, 123 Minutes, 2016
This is the third film in the contiguous DC cinematic universe. It follows Man of Steel [My Review] and Batman v. Superman [My Review]. I enjoyed the first for its careful initial character development, but recognized its many flaws. I bemoaned the fact that character development was forgotten in the vapid, overwrought follow-up. Both left fans wanting more and Suicide Squad with every chance to be the first truly great entry in the series.
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” on IMDB
Action/Adventure, 151 Minutes, 2016
DC Comics has, sadly, doubled down on their loud, dark reimagining of their flagship heroes. While I truly enjoyed 2013’s “Man of Steel” [My Review], it was the soulful examination of a young Clark Kent that sold me. The brash deluge of destruction porn that ended the movie only worked as a counterpoint to that.
Soulful character development or special effects: guess which one they tossed for sequel?
The Man of Steel gave us some timely advice 70 years ago. Although it’s unclear who colorized it, the image was released in 1949 as a book cover. Read more about it at Snopes.
You know the old saying: those that fail to learn from history are doomed to get a fucking lecture from Superman.
In Not Guilty: Superman Returns revisited, blastr.com’s Cher Martinetti expands on a point I’ve been making for years: “Superman Returns” [IMDB] rocked. While I normally prefer to defend the position by suggesting opponents lack the ability to find their elbows with both hands, Cher has decided to present well-constructed arguments instead.
I agree with every point she makes. The movie was a delicate homage and spiritual climax to Richard Donner’s 1978 classic, “Superman” [IMDB] and his sadly marred vision for “Superman II” [IMDB] (which was only realized partially decades later with his labor-of-love, special edition, “Superman II: Richard Donner Cut” [IMDB]). It also does the world a favor by completely ignoring the existence of “Superman 3” and “Superman 4: The Quest for Peace” (sorry, folks: I won’t even link to them).
The three movies together, “Superman”, “Superman II: Richard Donner Cut” and “Superman Returns” perfectly transition Superman across multiple generations. I was eight years-old when I first saw “Superman” in the theater and my son was eight years-old when I took him to see “Superman Returns”. I was thrilled to be able to share Superman with him. Not a “reimagining” or an “interpretation” but – essentially – the same Superman that had made such an impact on me.
I’m not against change. I loved “Man of Steel” [My Review] and I’m looking forward to seeing more of our new Superman. Still, I’ll always be thankful to “Superman Returns” for allowing me to share a new adventure of my Superman with my son.
In a continuing celebration of Superman’s big 75th birthday (and my realization that I’ve been enjoying his adventures for almost half that time) Time Warner has released a wonderful, two-minute animated retrospective.
The DC Comics Blog has a complete run-down of the references. The short was development by Zach Snyder and Bruce Timm and produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
“Man of Steel” on IMDB
Adventure, 143 Minutes, 2013
This is the first truly new take on Superman in film since Richard Donner’s [IMDB] 1978 classic “Superman” [IMDB]. Bryan Singer’s [IMDB] 2006 “Superman Returns” [IMDB] essentially completed Donner’s Superman films (rightly ignoring the execrable, non-Donner, third and fourth films). While this excellent film is often misunderstood it must be considered an extension of Donner’s vision rather than a true reboot of DC’s flagship character.
Superman was introduced to the world 75 years ago today, April 18, 1938. I was planning on writing up a heartfelt review of my personal history with the character but Kyle Orland over at ArTechnica.com did it better in his article, “Why Superman is still interesting on his 75th birthday“
My history with Superman is very similar – even if it’s clear that I have quite a few years on Kyle – although I did stick it out through the bizarre “Red and Blue” phase (really, DC, what were you thinking?!) In my case I began to lose touch with ‘Supes when my son was born and my time just wasn’t my own anymore. But I continued to collect the issues only having stopped a short time ago when it finally sank in that I wouldn’t ever have the time to catch up.
One of the most profound, for me, moments, is a simple sequence and I can’t even remember the story it appeared in. Clark and Lois are cooking dinner and the overhead light burns out. As Lois turns to fetch the step-stool Clark rises softly up to replace bulb. When she turns back to see the job completed the look they share is priceless. This simple exchange epitomizes how quietly powerful Superman is while also highlighting how humanly accessible Clark is.
Superman is something special. He means something; something worth understanding.
“The Dark Knight Rises” on IMDB
Action, 164 Minutes, 2012
There are two ways (at least) to consider “The Dark Knight Rises”. The first (and correct) way is as the capstone to a self-contained “Batman” story that owes us nothing but a profound respect of the character we love. The second way, one that the angrier parts of the Internet seem to have latched onto, is as an entry into a larger, continuing “Batman” timeline. Considered as part of a larger whole, or worse, as a stepping stone to the rumored, much-anticipated “Justice League” movie, the film fails to properly stage the character. I would simply argue that there was no requirement to do this.
“Batman: Arkham City” at Amazon.com
Rated Mature, Reviewed on PS3
“Batman: Arkham Asylum” was a revelation. It single-handedly redeemed the entire gaming industry for the multiple generations of terrible, hackneyed, money-grubbing excuses for Batman games that littered the landscape before. Never before had the depth of the character and its history been explored so completely. Fans truly couldn’t have asked for a better game.
“Green Lantern” on IMDB
Action, 114 Minutes, 2011
I’m surprised at the vitriol that reviewers seem to have for this film. Could the entire industry just have been having a bad day? Because the movie, while far from the best thing ever, is also very far from the worst. One of the criticisms that I continually hear is that it’s too “formula” or “clichéd”. Of course it is: DC Comics invented the formula! The Green Lantern was created over 60 years ago – doing the source material any justice at all means painting-by-the-numbers to at least some extent.