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November 22, 2017

Can There Be Justice for the Justice League?

So what really went wrong for “Justice League” in it’s underwhelming opening weekend? Was it the fact that DC decided to make their own version of “The Avengers” without strong stand-alone films? Was it the condensed sub-2 hour runtime? Was it the fact that the film had two completely different tones and styles? Was it Superman’s amazing mouth CGI? Was it the fact that Batman was almost as lifeless as Charles Manson? Was it the fact that Cyborg as a head on some questionable CG body? So many questions; so little time.

In case you haven’t heard, the Internet hasn’t been too kind to DC’s latest outing where you get to see their greatest heroes all join forces to defeat a bad guy who isn’t Darkseid. Sure, there are tons of problems with “Justice League.” Overall, it’s a rushed mess with trite dialogue, awkward performances, a main villain that makes Malekith from “Thor: The Dark World” look good, and it just feels rushed. But that’s what the DCU has felt from the start; a rushed attempt to catch up to the MCU.

But here’s the thing; is “Justice League” all that bad? Of course if you ask the Internet in it’s infinite wisdom is bad and they just can’t get past how bad the CG was on Henry Cavill’s magic mustache removal. Yes, it’s not good, it’s almost criminal that in a 300+ Million Dollar tentpole blockbuster that someone would sign off on that actually being passable in this day and age. Of course I’m not an artist of any kind and I have no idea how had it is to digitally remove a mustache, but for the past 27 years we’ve been able to make dinosaurs come back to life, create liquid metal terminators, de-age actors, bring them back to life, but somehow, facial hair removal eludes us. Go figure.

To to uninformed, here’s the gist of “Justice League.”

*Some Spoilers to Follow*

The world is still in mourning over the loss of Superman, and a new threat has arrived; Parademons and their leader, Steppenwolf who is after three Mother Boxes, which are essentially terra-forming alien technology kind of similar to the World Engine in “Man of Steel.” If all three Mother Boxes are found and combined they will essentially bring about the end of Earth as we know it.

So it’s up to Batman to form a team to save the world, but it’s going to take a lot more than a really fast guy, a head on a robot’s body, a powerful Amazonian, a drunk lifeguard, and a guy dressed in black rubber to save the world, they need Superman back. The only problem is that he’s buried in Smallville, Kansas. Good thing there is still a good amount of Kryptonian technology sitting around Metropolis.

If you’re a fan of the “Justice League” or “Justice League Unlimited” cartoon series, you’ll likely be a big fan of this version of “Justice League.” But in a world that’s been created to be dark, humorless, and void of a general sense of right and wrong, it’s odd that we have so many moments that are supposed to be funny and genuine. Why am I supposed to care if these characters like each other? I barely know them, and they barely know each other. It’s hard to buy into that as a viewer since there is very little frame of reference and not much history. But, you’re expected to buy into it.

However, one of the biggest issues overall with “Justice League” is the tonal difference between what we see directed by Zack Snyder and what’s directed by Joss Whedon after he took over for Snyder. Whedon does his best to create an Avengers-like vibe, and you could argue that some scenes are directly cribbed from his superhero Magnum Opus. I’ve never been a Snyder fan aside from just one of his films, but at least his style has been consistent with “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and just knowing that you’re watching the work of two different directors within the same film is quite infuriating for me. Whedon should have at least tried to keep the same tonal approach as Snyder instead of trying to reinvent a MCU film in DC’s backyard. But hey, that’s just like, my opinion man.

Surprisingly, Batman is actually one of the worst things about “Justice League” with Steppenwolf coming in a close 2nd thanks to more shoddy CG. I gave Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt in “BvS” it’s his first time out and he’s doing the best he can, but this time around, he’s kind of just going through the motions and I don’t know how you make Bruce Wayne/Batman uninteresting, but Affleck did it, and it might be the reason why he’s potentially on the way out of the DCU.

I know i’ve spent a lot of time harding on things I don’t really like with “Justice League” but looking back at my experience, despite my eye rolls and scoffs, this might be DC’s most complete film to date. It hits all the right tropes, doesn’t diminish what was created in “Wonder Woman,” introduces The Flash who isn’t half-bad, and actually makes Superman/Clark Kent more like the Superman/Clark Kent that people might recognize.

So despite a slow start, can “Justice League” bounce back after a poor start? At the box office, probably not, but on the bright side, the US Box Office is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine, it’s all about the Foreign Box Office. But could a Snyder cut, or can a 2nd viewing show a film that is actually better than it really is? Perhaps, but please fix Superman’s lip…he deserves better.

July 4, 2016

Ep. 71: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition – Movie Commentary: July 2016

Batman V Superman

 2016 | Superhero | 181 minutes

Today on this 4th of July we fight a 3hr war, one we thought we would lose. But we made it through all 3hrs of Zack Snyder’s poor choices to bring you another Simplistic Reviews Movie Commentary. We’re sure you have better things to do today. Drink and Eating come to mind. But the time may come when you must watch that

Batman V Superman

Dawn of Justice

Ultimate Edition

Extended Cut

Collectors Edition

Movie Commentary

Christ that’s a mouthful. Then lets watch it together. A army of one. A uprising to be independent from unbelievable plot holes in a $250 million dollar movie. I mean it’s crazy to think these people are professionals and still somehow find work.

So remember young ones. You don’t need to jam 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag. Fill up that first bag with all that needed shit and grab another 5 pound bag to finish stuffing that shit. Because having two bags of shit is okay, not one overstuffed bag of shit with plot holes throughout its 3hr run time is okay. Shit boys and girl, that just doesn’t fly!
 
March 25, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Spoiler Free Review
Batman V Superman
Dawn of Justice:
Bloated 
 2h 33mins | Action | 2016

So how is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

It’s Good. Not great…but good.



That’s it in a nutshell. The movie is fun, dark and gritty. Everyone’s sure to be favorite is Batman. Big reason I went to see it plus well… Wonder Woman. Been dying to see Wonder Woman in a movie. But Batman…he is simply amazing.

The film as a whole is riddled with problems. The truth is the movie itself is its own worse enemy.

Let’s start with the good.

Ben Affleck kills it as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. First actor that filled both those shoes since Keaton. Keaton as Bruce Wayne really? Yes he was the closest. When Batman Begins hit I thought Bale did the deuces, but as his mantel of Batman continued his voice became worse. Keaton in two films held the two better then anyone else since. Well until Affleck stole it from under his cape. Affleck steals the film. Just takes the film and runs with it. The voice is awesome. The cave is great and the Batmobile, ugh I want more. Alfred was great as well. He has a few moments that will make you grin. I simply cannot rest till I see a standalone film with those two again, I just cannot. I hope Affleck does a few Batman movies and continues this with what he has created. Oh when they do, please use one villain, stop the cramming of a few into one movie.  

Lex Luther, a lot of people will hate this version but I liked it. It’s different but simple. Lex is just crazy. He is ruthless, smart and pretty much a mad scientist. Dare I say at the end I liked it? True is half way into the film I hated Eisenberg’s performance. But as the mad scientist it grew on me and at the end I was intrigued to see where it will go in the future.

Visually the movie looks great. Its dark and I liked it. All the suits look amazing. Superman, Wonder
Woman and Batman look great. The costumes are just on point. I cannot talk more on how amazing they are.

Wonder Woman was kickass. I liked her a lot and I only wish there was more. I got excited when they call out Diana Prince’s name. Her as WW that costume looks great and when she popped up she received such a large cheer at the theater. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and I will be there on opening day when her film drops.

Listen Batman and Wonder Woman are the the best part of this bloated film. Everything else kinda makes you wonder why. But damn it was entertaining to watch this on the big screen.

What about the Bad stuff?

The film is 10 years too late. If this came out before The Avengers I think things would work out better. Like I said the movie is its own worst enemy. The idea of this film being the beginning of this larger world and following up with having a Justice League film is the biggest issue I have here. Because this isn’t one movie.

“This is 4 movies crammed into a 2hr and 33 min film. That just didn’t need to be”

Superman was under used and weak. This could of been better on the writers end. Then again I don’t care much for Superman anyway, but come on guys. There is so much to do with him yet they seemed to not want to do the leg work.

Should Superman exist is a great idea for a movie, maybe a Superman standalone one but we didn’t need to be here yet with this film. Why? Because they first should of created a single Batman movie. The two could create a build up to a real Batman V Superman. Here there isn’t much of a buildup. Mostly you see and feel it from Bruce but I wish we had a scene were you see him at the funeral for everyone at Wayne Enterprises or something really painful. Yes you do get hints but it doesn’t feel enough for me. That beginning was great but we needed more. You understand he takes this personal and he wants this not to happen again but it should of been more of a build up. You should see that anger build which we get but there should of been more. The movie just had no more room for it. Yet its a 2 and a half film. That shouldn’t be. The movie just had no idea where to go with itself.

It should of only been Batman and Superman. Each gets to bring 1 person. That is. But when you add the Dawn of Justice, things begin to go a different way. This doesn’t become a film about Batman vs Superman, it becomes a film about coming together which isn’t what we as the viewer were sold on.

I only wanted to see each other kick each others asses. We get that but its small. Next film should of been the building of the team. I didn’t want to hear about all these other characters now, I didn’t want to hear about anything but two guys who hate each other. But that is the issue.

Too much in one film.

What you end up getting is this back and forth.

Batman is great but then you switch to Diana Prince and your like shit I want to see her in her own film. Then it’s back to Clark, then Batman damn Batman is cool I can’t wait to see-then boom! Cut to Superman then back to Woman Woman then to Bruce then to Lex.

“Ugh I just want to see Batman that is all and damn I can’t wait to see a Wonder Woman movie”. This was my thought process, over and over again. We should of gotten that before hand.

This film is bloated. It has way too many comic book stories jammed in. Way too many characters.

Just way too much in a already too long of a film.

Oh and yeah Doomsday. You saw the trailer. Well there is more but its pretty much the same Doomsday. He changes a bit and gives Superman a run for his money. This whole part felt like it could of been better. Saw a lot of great opportunities but it didn’t go as far as it could.

There is this one great shot of Superman in space that looks great, but that’s all I can say without giving anything away.

Other then that it was fun to watch but

March 22, 2016

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 66) March 2016

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY



On this ORDER 66 Episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys get prepped for Batman V Superman with a brand new skit.  Matt accepts our award from GeekCast Radio Network for best podcast. And to prove that they can be fair, the boys play a round of Simply Say Anything.  Trailers, Indiana Jones, and Daredevil talk.  All this and more on the March edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.


Notes

Order 66
Sean Connery Slapping Women Explanation
Judge Reinhold
Predator Poster
James Franco Batman Cowl

Music

In Your Eyes By Peter Gabriel

Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLetterboxd, and Pinterest
March 3, 2015

Rant Corner (Ep.2) – “Animal Instincts” or: You know that day when you have to take the keys away from the grandparents, we’re looking at you DC.

Dear DC,

What the hell is going on?

P.S.
I know its for kids but they could of tried more.
Plus the last few films have been the worst they ever put out, so DC should really get their shit together.

September 24, 2014

Simply TV: Gotham (Pilot Episode)

BURN

Gotham – Burn

How can you go wrong with a show that takes in a universe in which Batman exists? There shouldn’t be anything wrong with that……right? Well, how about a universe in which Batman MIGHT exist one day, but in order to get to that one day you have to reside in a universe where you get to follow around a young Jim Gordon, his wise-cracking partner Harvey Bullock, and a bunch of villains who are either not yet the villains you know and love yet, and a female gangster named Fish Mooney. It will clearly be a slow burn for Fox’s “Gotham;” the newest take on the Gotham City and it’s residents. This opening is not meant to bash the show, it’s to clearly state what you are getting into when you prepare to dedicate multiple seasons to a show where you will follow around a young Jim Gordon who is likely not going to fight any “big” villains from Batman’s rogue’s gallery, but hey, I could be wrong.

So “Gotham” or at least the pilot episode, opens with that fateful night; the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents to a mugger’s bullet. The added wrinkle in this origin story is that the murder is witnessed by a young girl who has the slightest resemblance to a cat. Of course we know who she will become, but it’s never mentioned. Moving from Crime Alley, to the GCPD, we meet Jim Gordon and his new partner Bullock. The two couldn’t be less alike, classic case of good cop, bad cop. We also discover that Jim’s father was the former DA of Gotham City. Bullock and Gordon arrive at the scene of the Wayne family murder and while Gordon comforts Bruce, Bullock is trying to find a way to dump the case since he knows something is rotten in Denmark. As the show progresses we meet Renee Montoya, who works for the Major Crimes Unit, Jim’s girlfriend, Barbara Kean, and I might add those two have somewhat of a history, and it’s leaning on the lesbian side, which I can appreciate for obvious male-pig reasons. Along the way we also meet a young Oswald Cobblepot, Edward Nygma, and finally Carmine Falcone, played by “The Wire” alum, John Doman. In my haste we also meet the new Alfred Pennyworth, who delivers one of the funnier lines in the episode as well.

If it seems my synopsis is all over the place, well, that’s because the episode is all over the place. While it’s a slow burn, it’s also a pretty messy burn. There seem to be a few things that you are going to have to get over if you are going to enjoy “Gotham.” One, give up on seeing Batman anytime soon. Unless the show begins to rely on flash-forwards, or skips into the future after the first season, or two, there will be no Batman. And yes, I get it, the show is called “Gotham,” not “Batman” but when one thinks of Gotham City, there is really only one person you think of, but yeah, I get it.

Two, “Gotham” feels like something that could have been called “Gotham High.” Seeing villains like The Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman as younger versions of their selves just seems odd, and wrong. Of course, this is all based on a pilot where things can change drastically and could improve, but I’m not into it as much as I feel like I should be. While I don’t agree with the direction of Penguin, I have to admit I like how he is being portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor. It’s quite a departure from what I’m used to in my Penguin character, from Danny DeVito’s take in “Batman Returns” to even the comic books, but building up Penguin as a big bad for the future is ballsy, albeit, a slow burn.

Three, I really hope they change how they use Harvey Bullock. Bullock was one of my favorite characters from “Batman: The Animated Series,” and the crooked-cop take on his character, at least to me, is a little too cliched. You’re always going to have one of this bad cop-types characters in a show, but why make Bullock that character? Donal Logue, who I think is vastly underrated in anything he acts in, gives Bullock a certain attitude that I appreciated, but I want the slovenly, fat, fast food eating Bullock, not this Bullock. Again, I like Logue, but I’m trying to figure out this take on the character. Of course, I’m sure there will be an arc where Bullock has to make a choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing, possibly during the season finale, where he will become the Bullock I’ve come to know and love.

To finish up the rants, some of the music and camera work and simply weird. I can’t help but think when I’m watching something in the Batman universe, I imagine listening to either Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer; Graeme Revell isn’t who I would expect to score the “Gotham” TV show. And nothing again Revell, I loved his portion of the score for “Sin City” and if we got more of that in “Gotham” I would have no complaints, but alas. It just doesn’t seem like the score reflects what I would expect from a pseudo-gritty take on the history of Gotham City.

There are some other nit-picks through the pilot, but as a hopeful viewer, I think some of these things should get addressed. I still don’t buy Ben McKenzie, or Detective O.C., as Jim Gordon, but he has shown he’s got the chops, see “Southland” as a good example. I really hope the show doesn’t push a Selina Kyle/Bruce Wayne teen romance angle, that would just come off as needlessly cheesy. Finally, don’t create and add characters just to create and add characters. If the show is really going to push the “Rise of the Penguin” and Carmine Falcone/Fish Mooney angle, let those angles flesh out and concentrate on making that the best plot line you can make.

Overall, like “Arrow” and I’m sure “The Flash,” “Gotham” will go through it’s growing pains, similar to Bruce Wayne. The biggest thing for “Gotham” is that when you hear Gotham, you think Batman. But how long will that last with audiences who want to see the Dark Knight, not the Adventures of Jim Gordon vs. Fish Mooney. Name recognition is the biggest thing the show has going for it right now, and the fact it’s on Fox, a network notorious for axing shows if they don’t perform up to snuff, it will be interesting to see how long of a leash “Gotham” will have.

Fun Fact: Before he was hitting the street as Gordon, McKenzie was behind the cowl, voicing the Dark Knight in the animated feature, “Batman: Year One.”

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