Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

Cinematic universes. Something every studio is trying to pull off after Marvel’s success with it. Most notably we’ve had DC/Warner Bros trying to catch up with their own DC Extended Universe. And it’s been a bit hit and miss for critics and general audiences alike. So let’s see if their big team-up movie is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League”.

When our world is threatened by the evil alien Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) have to create a team of superpowered individuals to try to stop this dangerous new enemy. And that’s really all this is about. Okay, there’s a bit more to it, but I prefer to keep plot details relatively vague. Now is this a good plot? For the most part I’d say so. It’s a very straight-forward plot compared to some of the earlier outings in this franchise. I think my only problem with it is that it feels a bit choppy during the first act, like it’s been cut down to fit in a two hour runtime (which it most likely has). But that choppy start aside, this is a fun, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable comic book adventure plot.

The characters in this vary a bit in their depth, but I found most of them to at least be quite enjoyable. Ben Affleck reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and we can tell that he has changed a bit since “BvS”. After what happened at the end of that movie, he has become a somewhat more light-hearted, less homicidal hero. And I liked seeing him as he worked to getting the team together to stop the end of the world. And Affleck is once again great in the role. Next we once again have Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She’s once again a fiercely inspiring, fun, and warm character that I’d follow to hell and back. Seeing her working to get the team together and all that is really interesting, and she’s once again a really cool character. And Gadot is once again great in the role. Next up we have Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash. He gets some decent character development, but for the most part he’s there to be the comic relief, and he works really well for that while still getting some badass moments. And I thought Miller was great in the role. Next we have Ray Fisher as Cyborg, the genius, yet damaged mechanical member of the gang. He gets a decent amount of character development here and I thought he was a really cool character. And Fisher was really good in the role. Next we have Jason Momoa as Aquaman, the half man/half Atlantean warrior. He is very much a superpowered version of Jason Momoa, and I think it kind of works because I find that persona quite enjoyable. So yeah, Momoa was really good in the role. Henry Cavill returns as Superman, and the little we see of him here is my favorite appearance of the character in this franchise. And Cavill was really good in the role. Now, let’s talk Steppenwolf (no, not the band). As a villain he’s… fine, I guess. He’s a big CGI monster with some lines hinting at some deeper stuff, but ultimately ends up becoming kind of generic. Thought Ciarán Hinds did a really good job voicing him though, suitably menacing. We also get supporting performances from people like Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Billy Crudup, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, and more… all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it was pretty good. Nothing special, heroic big brass tunes with some strings thrown in for added effect. It’s far from bad, and the various tracks work well within their respective scenes. And for those wondering about that “Danny Elfman to use Batman and Superman themes in the score”, it does occur, but it’s more snuck in rather than just overtly used as their own tracks… and I think it works surprisingly well.

The movie was directed by Zack Snyder… and Joss Whedon. As most people probably know, this movie had a very troubled production, with Snyder having to leave the project due to a personal tragedy, so Joss Whedon had to come in and do some reshoots. These things considered, the direction here is quite consistent. When a new director comes in to do reshoots, it could feel like a different movie in parts, but it’s remarkable how consistent it feels here. So is the direction in general any good? Yeah. It’s good, it flows pretty nicely, there’s some good shots here. And the action I quite liked. Now, it didn’t leave the same impact as the action in “Wonder Woman”, but it was easy to follow and I had quite a lot of fun with it. What I liked most about it was seeing the various heroes show off their abilities, with The Flash and his speedforce being the standout. And the visual effects here are for the most part damn good. Some things look a little off at times, from some backgrounds, to closeups of Steppenwolf (BORN TO BE WIIIIIILD!), to even Cyborg at times. But like I said, for the most part the effects look great (again, The Flash having some of the best ones).

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 40% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite a few flaws (that probably stem from production issues), I had a lot of fun with “Justice League”. It has a good plot, good characters, good music, and good directing/action/visual effects/humor. As previously mentioned, the plot is a bit choppy at the start, the villain is a bit bland, and the effects could be less than stellar at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League” is an 8,52/10. So while flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Justice League” is now completed.

Come Together…

Movie Review: Elysium (2013)

Space, the final frontier… the perfect place to go if you’re a rich asshole that doesn’t want to help the poor.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Elysium”.

The world has gone to shit. As the poor struggle to survive in the slums of Los Angeles, the rich have escaped into a space station called “Elysium” because they don’t want to take responsibility. And we follow poor person Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) as he takes on a mission that could help bring a bit more equality to this rich vs. poor world. So now we have our sci-fi movie that wants to deliver a message. And while the delivery of said message can be a little clumsy at times, I think it for the most part works. I think this is an interesting world that gets set up and I also think the overall plot is quite good. I felt invested in it, I wanted to see where it was going. So yeah, the plot here was good.

The characters here are for the most part interesting. I say for the most part because… well, we’ll get to that. Matt Damon plays Max, our sympathetic main character who is likable, funny, and pretty badass. I cared about him, I wanted to see him succeed. And Matt Damon is great in the role. Jodie Foster plays, Delacourt, the sort of antagonist of the film. Let’s put it like this: She’s kind of an asshole that wants to keep the rich at the top and the poor under the shoe of inequality. And yeah, I didn’t really care for her. I didn’t find her very interesting as she was a very one-dimensional character. And while Foster’s performance wasn’t bad, it wasn’t really that great. It was bland and she had some weird accent going on that didn’t really work. Now on the other end of that spectrum we have Sharlto Copley, playing a sort of rogue black ops agent that is out to kill Damon. The character is a total psychopath and Copley killed it as the character, stealing every scene he was in! Alice Braga plays Frey, an old friend of Damon who pops up several times throughout the movie, and she was a pretty good character with an okay arc. And Braga was good in the role. Diego Luna is in the movie as a friend of Damon’s, and he was good. Wagner Moura was also in it, playing a rebel leader of sorts, and he was great. We also got a little bit of William Fichtner in the movie and he was really good in the role. Overall it is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Ryan Amon and it was quite good. While not doing anything terribly original, it does work very well for the movie, often adding a bit extra excitement/emotion to a scene. So yeah… it’s good. MOVING ON.

This movie was directed by Neill Blomkamp and I think he did a for the most part really good job. When not a lot is happening, when something just needs to be shown or when there’s just a conversation between two characters, the movie looks quite good. And the way the visual effects are implemented into the movie is some of the best I’ve ever seen. However, whenever action happens… oh boy. It’s shaky and filled with plenty of cuts and it really annoyed me. Hey Blomkamp, just because Matt Damon is in the movie doesn’t mean you should imitate “The Bourne Supremacy”! Sometimes it isn’t too bad, but for the most part it’s just… yikes.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Elysium” is a good, albeit quite flawed sci-fi movie. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and good directing. But it is brought down by Jodie Foster’s character/performance, and the action ebing really shaky/annoying. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Elysium” is an 8,66/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it is worth buying.

My review of “Elysium” is now completed.

Matt Damon is… Jason Poor.

“Justice League” Comic Con Footage

Holy shit, Comic Con is great for news and trailers! How’s it going, guys? I hope you’re all doing well. Because we’re going for a bit of a ride here. *Inhale, exhale*. All right, here we go.

So straight outta San Diego Comic con, DC and Warner Bros. has given us a first look at the upcoming “Justice League” movie. And if the movie has a tone consistent to the one in the trailer, we are going to get a great movie. So what do we have here? Well, we get Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) recruiting the members of the Justice League. So we get to see him meet up with Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher). We also get some quick shots of Batman, the three guys I just mentioned, and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) gathered to do… something. Not too much in the way of action, but I think the people over at DC/Warner are saving that for later. But what do I think about this entire thing? I think it looks like a Marvel film with DC characters in it. Just kidding… sort of. Zack Snyder promised us a lighter tone for “Justice League”, compared to the two previous films. And it seems like he’s actually keeping that promise… good job, man! It seems like it could actually be a fun movie and I am looking forward to it. Also, I have not seen “Batman V Superman” yet so you guys can look forward to a review of that in the not too distant future.

So what are your thoughts on this? Are you guys looking forward to “Justice League”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy this trailer (let’s face it, it’s a fuckin’ trailer).

 

Cartoon/Movie Review: Justice League: War (2014)

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I love superhero movies. Both live action and animation. I mean, one of my favorite superhero movies is the animated movie “Batman: Under the Red Hood”. So when a new animated superhero movie gets released I immediately get a little excited. Especially if it’s DC… because they have a good track record when it comes to animated movies. So now I finally got to watch one of their latest animated movies. Plus, I needed a small break in the whole “F&F” thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League: War”.

So this is basically a reboot of the entire franchise. The Justice League hasn’t been founded yet. But in the movie we see Batman (Jason O’Mara), Superman (Alan Tudyk), The Flash (Christopher Gorham), Green Lantern (Justin Kirk), Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan), Cyborg (Shemar Moore) and Shazam (Sean Astin) teaming up to take out the evil Darkseid (Steve Blum) who is invading planet earth with his army of whatever the hell they are. And seeing that was really entertaining. I just like seeing all these characters come together and kick ass. One of the biggest flaws however is that the movie is only 80 minutes long and therefore couldn’t evolve a great narrative. Believe me when I say that the story was fun, but it felt really rushed when they tried to cram it into an 80 minute movie.

The characters were all pretty fun. They were all pretty well-written and got decent time split between them. Except for Flash, I wish he had gotten a bit more time (Sidenote: That is mostly because I love the character of The Flash). There isn’t much more I can say here when it comes to the characters in general. They were enjoyable, that’s it.

The score for the movie by composer Kevin Kliesch was really good. It really helped sell the action scenes and it helped set the fast-paced and exhilarating mood. It was fast, big and cool. Not much more to say here. And the voice cast of the movie was pretty stellar as usual. Every time a new DC animated movie comes out I’m always curious to hear how different actors portray different characters. And the cast was pretty great in this movie. Jason O’Mara has voiced Batman in other projects before and he nails it. Alan Tudyk as Superman is also great. You know to be fair, every cast member was great in the movie. No one was weak. Sure, it wasn’t exactly as great as maybe some earlier animated DC movies, but it was still really good.

The animation in the movie was really good, but that is something I have come to expect from these movies. They all look good when it comes to the animation. The only problem I had with it was a few facial animations/details on Flash and occasionally on Shazam. Sometimes it looked kinda like a not very good drawing. But most times the animation was as great as other previous movies.

I was surprsied at how much humor there was in this movie and also how good it actually was. Not that it was like the best humor ever, but it was still really funny and really well-written. I got nothing else here.

I couldn’t find much about reception for this movie on my usual sites. I could only really find on imdb.com  where it has a 7,2/10.

“Justice League: War” is a pretty enjoyable action movie and a welcome addition to the DC animated movie library. Even though the story feels rushed because of the short runtime, it still had a decent story, really good animation, a really score, great action, really good humor and a great voice cast. Time for my final score. SHAZAM! My final score for “Justice League: War” is an 8,84/10. It is definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Justice League: War” is completed.

SHAZAM!