Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Jul 12, 2015

"What Did I Just See?": BVS: Dawn of Justice Comic Con Trailer

This trailer was at the top of my list for most anticipated moments for Comic Con this year. As you may know by now, I am a huge Batman fanatic. I live and breath Batman. That being said, I was more than a little pumped when watching this trailer the now 15,000 times that I have. This trailer was simply magnificent in every way so, this installment of “What Did I Just See?” is going to be a little different. I would usually talk about “What Didn’t Work?” but seeing how this trailer was just a nonstop powerhouse of awesomeness, I am going to skip that segment and simply list “What Did Work?” I am also going to talk about some speculations and things you may have missed in the trailer, and what some things in the trailer could allude to. So, lets put on our cowls and breakdown this spectacular trailer!

What Worked?
Holding Superman Accountable
We’ve known for some time that the world will hold Superman accountable for the hundreds of deaths that were a direct cause of his fight with Zod. It’s a great way to open up this trailer at the courthouse where Superman is being tried by a committee. It shows that the world does not yet stand in solidarity with heroes, and most of all, Superman. It gives a great sense of why not only Batman, but the entire world, sees Superman as a threat, and to some degree, a murderer.

Deaths for Batman
We know that Batman has been out of commission for a while and that he’s seen his share of devastation. However, the deaths of his employees, or “family”, and his inability to save them or protect them during Superman’s battle are a great way to motivate Bruce to suit up once more. We know that the driving force for Batman’s crusade is to save those who can’t protect themselves, and to avenge those who have died at the hands of criminals, like his parents who get a nice little scene in this trailer, or Jason Todd whose Robin outfit we see (more on him in the speculation area). Now that Batman has had his family hurt once more, the flames of rage are burning once more.

Jeremy Fucking Irons
There is no one else that could deliver the lines he has with the same amount of gravitas and precision as he does. With a Batman as badass and rage-filled as this one, we needed an Alfred who could contend emotionally with him. Jeremy Irons is the only one that can believably stand up to Batman and tell him like it is. Also, his look is so great. He looks like an old spy who still has that fire burning in him, but with much more wisdom. I can’t wait to see and hear the dialogue between he and Ben Affleck.

Lex Zuckerberg
Even though I wish Lex was a tad bigger, I am totally sold on Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. He is cocky and deceitful just like how his character should be. He is surprisingly compelling as a formidable foe. There is the obvious brain vs. brawn matchup between he and Superman brewing here. This makes me very excited. Also, he has hair in this trailer, so he will presumably lose it as a plot point, and I’m totally ok with that because that has been done successfully in the past.

Wonder Woman
My doubts of Gal Gadot are gone. She gives off a very good vibe. When fighting she has a smirk like Diana should have. She is obviously up against a formidable opponent, and Wonder Woman always loves a good battle. She looks like, even though she is taking this seriously, she is enjoying a good fight. Also, I’m so glad that she and Batman know each other’s secret identities and that they seem to be a bit flirtatious together. I hope this is a sign that perhaps they will have a bit of a romance, much like in the Justice League animated show. She also looks believable as this strong powerful woman. Many complained that she was too skinny, but she seems very fit and ready for battle in this trailer.

The Batman
I call him The Batman because he is certainly a figure of justice that deserves the “The.” Ben Affleck is fucking killing it in this role as not only The Batman, but as Bruce Wayne as well. He is creating a blend of both personas that mixes extremely well, while also making it believable and understandable that they are both two masks he wears at different times. His motivations, as I touched on above, are great ways to set up the pure rage that is boiling beneath the surface. I love how Ben Affleck is literally trembling with anger throughout this trailer as well. You can see this rage not only in his demeanor, but his eyes as well. When he is watching the devastation of Metropolis, as well as describing Superman’s abilities, you can see the seriousness, sadness, and rage. He is also very agile which has been a problem in the past Batman movies. While being agile, he is also HUGE in stature and extremely demanding whenever he is seen. Ben Affleck is the truest Batman we have ever seen. He embodies all of the physical elements that Batman has, as well as the emotions that come with living under the cowl.

Many people shit on DC for being so dark. I think it’s not only smart for them to embrace this tone as a great way to separate themselves from Marvel, but it's wise of them to stick more closely to the source material they have chosen. There are many incarnations of these characters and they have stated which comics are influencing them. Why would they draw inspiration from the Dark Knight Returns, and then make a movie full of jokes and lightheartedness? It wouldn’t make sense, and would in turn make the film a mess. I applaud them for embracing the source material they are drawing inspiration from, and they are doing a great job capturing the feel of these comics.

This trailer is beautiful. The interspliced shots, establishing shots, close-ups, action shots, etc. They are all done with grace and precision. I loved seeing Superman shoot his heat vision then cut to Batman dodging heat vision (although I don’t believe it is Superman shooting at him). The shots help establish and convey all of what is being said as well as add tidbits of information not being talked about. For instance, my comment about Diana enjoying the battle was in part due to the close-up on her as she is thrown into a wall. The trembling I noticed in Ben Affleck was also in part due to the close-up shots that let us be able to observe these minor details that only further enhance our experience and understanding of the trailer.

Jason Todd
Seeing Jason Todd’s Robin suit with a message from the Joker left behind on it is an obvious indication that he was murdered by the Joker. However, I think that they aren’t just putting this in there for mere dramatic effect. I think this is foreshadowing the events of the upcoming solo Batman film where Jason Todd comes back as the Red Hood. I also think that the staff he is holding is indeed a staff that Jason Todd used. Although it may not look like a traditional staff, it would make sense that perhaps they created a staff with some modifications. I think this is actually what we see Batman holding in the previous trailer, and what he uses to inject kryptonite into Superman with. I also think that he chooses this weapon as a means of motivation and as a reminder that he sees Superman in a similar light to the Joker at this point. He uses this staff because it is that of a fallen comrade taken from him by someone he deems to be a criminal. Superman has already killed his employees that are described as being his family, so it would make sense that he’s using one of his “family” members signature weapon to defeat an enemy that has taken what he holds closest to him.

Joker Knows Everything
It’s very suspicious that the Joker is presumably sending Batman mail directly, and calling him out for letting his family die. His note also serves as a nice poke at the death of Jason Todd at his hands. I’m assuming that during one of their previous altercations, Batman either revealed his alter ego, or it was uncovered by the Joker during the interrogation and torture of Jason Todd. I don’t quite know how or why the Joker knows who The Batman is, but it’s a very interesting dynamic that we haven’t seen before.

The Pockocmoc Satellite
I had brought this up in my review for the first trailer, but we get to see an extended look at the Pockocmoc satellite launch. I am still convinced it is some form of threat that Superman deters as a means of winning over the trust of the American military. It is clearly Russian, but this time the labelling has been removed from the satellite itself. It still bears the Russian flag, and could be a bit of foreshadowing to a larger conflict that will soon involve all of the heroes.

A lot of people are calling out Batman’s obvious necksnap during the desert scene. Many don’t believe it is Batman considering he doesn’t kill people. I am wondering if these “Super Soldiers” are actually people. I’m thinking they might not be. Knowing that Lex will be using Zod’s DNA for something nefarious, and having billions of dollars at his disposal, it would make sense that perhaps Lex has created some sort of humanoid robot squadron. Now here me out. Zack Snyder admitted that Metallo was in the first draft for the film, but was later cut. Metallo is a humanoid robot with the mind of a man and powered by kryptonite. I don’t think its that farfetched to believe that Luthor has created a small scale squadron of androids to battle Superman, in place of Metallo. They can in fact serve as a precursor to the introduction of Metallo. Also, it is suspicious that we never see any skin, or any of the soldiers faces. So, with all of that said, perhaps Batman knows they aren’t human, and is then using lethal tactics in hopes of destroying them.

Doomsday Is Upon Us
From Luthor getting Kryptonite, Zod’s body, and being an all-around maniacal asshole, I think it is obvious that he creates Doomsday. We also see Lexcorps destroyed, as if something escaped, hence all of the bullets on the ground as Luthor walks through the facility. Also, we see a scene with massive devastation and fire as the Batwing flies overhead. As stated before, we see Superman using his heat vision, which he only does in extreme cases. I doubt very much so that he’s using it towards Batman. Also, Wonder Woman wouldn’t fight Superman as she is descibed as the gateway drug to the Justice League, which insinuates she is the uniting force that brings both heroes together. So if she isn’t fighting Superman, or Batman, she must be fighting someone very strong as she is seen being thrown into a wall, and using a powerful attack. I just hope we get to see this big grey son-of-a-bitch soon!

Overall Assessment
This trailer fucking delivered. It gave me more of the story, it conveyed tone, it showed character motivation, and established an overall sense of understanding of the conflict. It kicked major ass all around.

Score: 10/10

If you’ve stuck around this long to read my huge in depth nerdgasm, I thank you! Please be sure to let me know what you all thought in the comments below and let’s start a conversation. What did you think of the trailer? Were you as impressed and blown away as me? Or did you fucking hate it? As always, please follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey, check me out on, and check out my own website at

Jun 21, 2015

The 5 Best Pixar Theatrical Shorts

With the release of Inside Out this weekend we are graced with another Pixar short. Pixar has become at least partially known for the charming shorts they play in front of their films. Over the years the shorts have increased in length and in emotional impact. However, some of the older shorts are still just as touching as the newer ones. So, let’s take a quick seat and sit back as we prepare ourselves for a heartwarming and heartbreaking look back at the 5 best Pixar theatrical shorts so far.

5. Day and Night

Starting off our list is the short Day and Night. As every Pixar short does, this one tackles issues much greater than just two characters struggling to get along. Day and Night touches a lot on coexistence with those who are different than ourselves. However, once it shows us how to get along with others who are different, it shows us that we are all really one in the same. Day and Night has some really clever visuals that help depict the emotions and reactions of both characters. The facial animation on each character is very descriptive as well, which Pixar has become masters of. Most of their shorts have no dialogue, so they rely upon their ability to convey emotion with body language and the settings they create. With the message and imagery in this short, it deserves the number 5 spot no doubt.

4. Luxo Jr.

Being the second short that Pixar ever made and becoming the defining symbol of the company are just two reasons why Luxo Jr. deserve to be on this list. However, Pixar’s ability to make me care so much about two lamps speaks volumes about how much more impactful this short really is. The story is one about a father/mother and a son/daughter. The parent lamp is trying to play with its child, and is surprised by the ability the child has to bounce back (quite literally). Much like most parents, the lamp realizes how resilient their child is even when saddened. The short also catches the wonder and happiness that children have when they are doing something as simple as playing with a ball. Luxo Jr. reaches both parents and kids, and tells a story of appreciation on both accounts. It’s a great short that I’ve remembered since the first time I saw it.

3. Knick Knack

Knick Knack is one of the funniest shorts from Pixar, if not THE funniest. It’s a little hard to put my finger on exactly, but this short is much more about the comedy than it about the message when compared to other shorts. There’s something about the levity in this that just makes it so enjoyable to me. It’s a great story about being trapped and being left out and learning to accept your situation, but honestly it’s just really fun to watch.

2. Lava

Lava was by far the most heartbreaking short film I’ve ever seen from Pixar. It was beautiful through and through. From the visuals, to the music, to the story, to the characters. It was nice having actual voices in the short, which as we know almost never happens. I think it was a great move on their part because it helped break my heart (in a good way). It was so sad to see the loneliness felt by the volcano and his inability to communicate with the other volcano. His descent into the ocean made me tear up. However, Pixar being who they are, they took me to the saddest parts of my soul to bring me back up and give me the pay-off I was looking for. The volcano’s ascension back to the surface to meet the other volcano was a moment that nearly made me cheer in the theater. This was without a doubt a high point in Pixar’s short film career.

1. Geri’s Game

Geri’s Game holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first short I had ever seen, and I was blown away. I didn’t know you could even tell a story this quickly, nor did I think one could be as engaging as this was. Another reason it holds a special place in my heart is the fact that it introduced me to jazz. I always loved watching this short just to hear the music in the background. However, Geri’s Game isn’t only the best short because it means so much to me, but it is the true embodiment of what Pixar is. Pixar is all about the child inside of us and allowing that to come out. Geri’s Game is all about a single elderly man playing chess against himself. He is conniving and cheats and laughs and does all the things we would do as children when playing with one another. A Pixar short has always needed to remind me of this aspect of life, and Geri’s Game not only delivered on this message, but will always remind me of where I come from as well as where I’m headed. It tells you to remember to have fun, no matter where, when, how, or with whom. I can’t think of a more memorable, enjoyable, or pure message.

So that’s it folks. As always, let me know what you all think. What’s your favorite short? Do you remember seeing any of these for the first time? Did any impact you in a special way? Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey and check out my website where we talk all things nerdy! Thanks for reading everyone!

May 24, 2015

5 DC Villains Worthy of a Justice League Movie

We all love heroes, but what makes a hero a legend? A fantastic villain. Now when we have teams of heroes, the stakes for villains must be raised as well. This is when we get some of the greatest villains. We know that the DCCU will be chock full of villains thanks to Suicide Squad, but few villains have the power and expertise to go up against the whole Justice League. There have been many speculations as to who the villain or villains could be for the upcoming two part Justice League movie, but I want to explore five different villains who deserve to be the main antagonists in a Justice League movie, whether it be these two or other upcoming ones because it’s logical to expect more than just these two to be done.

5. Doomsday

Doomsday, as most of us comic nerds know, is stronger than Superman. However, his power goes even beyond that. Described by, He has, “an immeasurable level of strength and invulnerability beyond those of even Superman.” As we know, there are more than one way to defeat a being of such strength, but it takes a huge amount of resources, effort, and strength to even go up against such a villain. also describes him as having an “endless rage” that I’m sure will help him outlast at least some members of the League during their epic battle. Doomsday also has a plain disregard for life itself, so poses a threat to not only the League members, but everyone they protect. It would also be great fan service to see the monster who killed the Man of Steel in the comics do the same on-screen. It could really throw casual moviegoers for a loop because, they don’t know like us nerds, that Superman comes back, eventually.

4. Brainiac

There was recently a comparison of Brainiac to Ultron, however, Brainiac is far more powerful and menacing. Brainiac poses a universal threat for the Justice League to solve. He may be another Superman villain, but he can be set up to pose a much larger threat, as to necessitate the involvement of the entire league. Brainiac also uses the information and technology that he has absorbed throughout the galaxy to help aid his villainous schemes for world annihilation and consumption when he gets to earth. It would be a worldwide spectacle to see the Justice League have to thwart a worldwide invasion, as well as up the stakes from a city or one area to the entire world and human race. I do think that DC should save Brainiac for a bit considering that some regular moviegoers might mistake him for an Ultron rip-off which he is not, but to the casual viewers he might seem so.

3. Parallax

Parallax is an immensely powerful being that can pit the Justice League against each other. Much like BvS, Parallax could create a situation in which we see other heroes pitted against each other. Parallax can mindcontrol those who are susceptible to it’s fear, so we could have heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman fall under it’s control while others like Batman and Cyborg do not. Also, Hal Jordan could be used as it’s host and used almost as a villain. Although, Jordan wouldn’t actually be the one responsible, it could help make the character much more tragic having to live with the destruction and death he has caused while under control of Parallax. Also, I believe this villain is much to large and encompassing to keep as just a Green Lantern villain, like they tried to do in the failed Green Lantern movie. I think this villain is deserving of a League beatdown.

2. Darkseid

Image result for darkseid

This big guy is our runner up even though he tops a lot of people’s lists. He was at the top of mine for a long time, but I recently changed my mind. Anyway, Darkseid is a bona fide killing machine. He’s extremely cunning, tactful, and strong. He has a world full of an army at his disposal, super strength, omega-beams, and did I mention he’s the son of a literal God? Darkseid has everything a supervillain could ever want or need. This guy is so bad that the creators actually based him off of Adolf Hitler. These are all the more reasons why a proper incarnation of him needs to be seen on the big screen taking on our favorite DC heroes. He is a force to be reckoned with and demands more attention and energy than our team may have. He could be a villain that strains our heroes so much that one even dies.

Honorable Mention

Superboy Prime

I love the character and his importance is undeniable, however, I just don’t think he could be translated to the big screen properly. He is more than enough for our team to handle and has literally destroyed planets, but I just don’t think we will see him on the big screen. That is not to say that he doesn’t deserve it, and I’d love to see him there, but I just don’t think it could happen.

1. The Anti-Monitor

Image result for the anti monitor

I think this villain poses the greatest threat to the League and has the potential to change the entire cinematic universe. That is why I think the Anti-Monitor deserves to be my number one. He is the direct cause of Crisis on Infinite Earths and actually causes an alliance between Darkseid and the Justice League. Anyone that is that powerful to cause such a partnership deserves to be the focus of a Justice League movie. The Anti-Monitor could be the end to a DC universe and be a proper send off to our heroes. He can be the be-all to end-all in this cinematic universe. I think you save him for the last team up when all of our heroes have been established and fleshed out, only to give them all the ultimate test.

Of course, let me know what villains you would like to see face the Justice League in the DCCU in the comments below. What do you think of my list? Am I crazy? Please be sure to share this and give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and tell me why you didn’t like it if that’s what your heart desires. Thanks for reading!

Why I'm Nervously Optimistic for Suicide Squad

For a while now we've received pretty steady updates about the Suicide Squad movie. There have been many rumors and a lot of facts. I'm going to address both and figure out why we should be both excited and nervous about this movie. This movie is undoubtedly going to big especially since it will be riding off of the success of BVS.  However, I think there are some issues that could either sink the movie or elevate them. It's obviously too soon to tell which they will be, so let the speculation begin!

The Reliable

1. Heavy Names

One of the reasons Suicide Squad got such immediate attention was the cast involved with the project. The project consisted of A-list actors with real talent. The names that currently stick out in the cast are, Will Smith, Margo Robbie, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis. All four are undeniably incredibly talented. I believe Will Smith will bring his A-game and portray Deadshot with the emotion, depth, and precision that he had in I Am Legend. Margo Robbie is a star that is only continuing to burn brighter. She embodies everything that Harley Quinn is, and has shown she can do everything the character requires except the acrobatics. Jared Leto is an Academy Award winning actor. This is the first movie he's doing after he won the award. I have absolute faith in him that he can pull off the menacing, cerebral, maniacal, character of the Joker. Throughout his film career he's shown all of these traits. Finally, Viola Davis is a phenomenal actress who is very hot right now with the success of How to Get Away With Murder. She is an actress who can demand respect and is the physical embodiment of power. Her conniving performance in How to Get Away With Murder only further supports the fact that she was perfectly cast as Amanda Waller. Altogether, just these four alone bring enough to the table to make sure this movie will be jammed pack with immense talent and emotion.

2. David Ayer
David Ayer is a proven writer and director. He's shown that he knows how to write for a dynamic team as well as direct big name actors on a team. I would even go as far as saying that he thrives with ensembles. Beside the fact that he's a great director and writer, he has been very open about the fact that he's doing his research. He has even posted pictures of Suicide Squad comics on his twitter. Ayer is putting in the time to really understand this collection of characters so that he can more accurately portray them, instead of taking huge liberties to suit his own creative desires. Also, with other photos he's posted, he demonstrates his attention to detail. He really cares about making everything right.

3. Character Choices
The characters they've chosen to have in the film are all interesting characters. Yes, even Captain Boomerang. All of these characters are multidimensional and bring something different to the table. It will be extremely interesting and entertaining seeing them play off of each other. There interactions between each other could even give us glimpses into the future where each respective villain could meet their heroic counterpart. I just think that each character choice was great not only for staying true to the comic origins of the team, but for also creating an atmosphere that will foster great chemistry between the actors and characters.

The Worrisome

1. The Loss of Tom Hardy

It's ridiculous to think that Tom Hardy's departure wouldn't leave some sort of tear in the project. When the cast was first mentioned, every article had Tom Hardy's name plastered first everywhere. His name is arguably the biggest to be mentioned with the project. For him to depart is ample reason for concern. We are told that he left due to scheduling conflicts, but most know that this is a polite way for the studio and the actor to say that they are parting ways due to other reasons. Now, we have Joel Kinnaman, who I'm growing to like as an actor, taking his spot as Rick Flag. This just doesn't sit well with me, considering the fact that Rick Flag is supposed to act as the leader on the team. I just can't see Joel Kinnaman demanding respect from big names like Will Smith or Margo Robbie. I don't think he brings enough gravitas to the role that Tom Hardy would have brought.

2. Deathstroke
We've been hearing many different rumors about who is going to play Deathstroke. It was rumored that Joe Manganiello was up for the role, but he recently dismissed this rumor. Recently, Jim Parrack was rumored for the role, but even that seems to be false. So we don't know who will be playing Deathstroke, but I am concerned with the apparent lack of involvement with the film. From what we've heard the film isn't going to feature very much Deathstroke. I think he should be playing a much more integral part in the film. Also, I want an actor who is as big as Ben Affleck and around the same age. I could see a Clive Owen or even Mark Strong portraying the character. I feel both bring gravitas as well as the physicality needed for the role.

3. Ike Barinholtz
It was announced via table read photo of the cast that Ike Barinholtz was in the movie. Personally, I love him as a comedian and I've been following him since his Mad TV days. However, what the hell is he doing in this movie? There has been A LOT of speculation that he could be Hugo Strange, but my mind just refuses to let me believe this. He did recently affirm that his role will be a very different side of him that we haven't seen, but I still can't shake the feeling that his presence will take me out of the movie. I don't know if he can be put in a scene with actors of such high caliber and deliver.

The Wildcards

1. Jai Courtney

I'm not one of the people who bash Jai Courtney and think he's terrible. Now, I don't think he's very great, but I think it's apparent that he has talent. I don't think he's been in very good movies, but I think he's done the best he could in those movies. I believe this will be the role that makes him a star deserved of the title. I just hope he doesn't disappoint like he did in Divergent or Die Hard. I hope they let him be funny because he's a funny guy, but it always neutered into being a straight-faced serious guy in all of his roles. I'm optimistic about his casting, but I'm also cautious.

2. The Tone
Although, like I stated before, I have confidence in David Ayer as a writer and director, I'm concerned about the overall tone of the movie. I feel like it should have elements of comedy, but needs to be dark considering we're following the journeys of murderous villains. However, with the current MoS and the trailer for BVS, the DCCU seems to be a dark and dreary place. This is fine, but I just don't know if the humor that I hope is in Suicide Squad will feel out of place. I feel like this will be one of those things that will either really work or really miss and we will all notice it.

3. Where Do These Characters Fit?
Now earlier I said that it would be fun to see these villains go against their heroic counterparts, but I don't know how well that might work. For instance, Killer Croc. I'm ecstatic at the fact that he will be brought to life on screen, however I am having a hard time picturing him in a Batman movie without the support of the other villains on screen. Also, I think Will Smith will kill it as Deadshot, but I don't want him to only show up in Suicide Squad movies. I just don't think they have any interest in using him in a Batman movie though. Even Captain Boomerang, who is a pretty lame villain let's just all admit it, would be hard to fit into a Flash movie. Most of these characters need each other to work as well as I think they will in Suicide Squad.

Overall, I still think this movie will slay at the box office and be a fantastic movie. I will remain optimistic until we know more, but I couldn't shake this feeling of nervousness with regards to the odd casting rumors, plot details, and wildcards. I trust the vision of the A-list actors and David Ayer as well as the heads over at DC, but I they haven't proven themselves just yet. Until then I will remain cautious, but this movie still excites me.

What do you guys think? Are you as nervously optimistic as I am? Are you concerned with some casting or the prospect of using these villains in other movies? Do you love some of the casting as much as I do? Let me know in the comments!

"What Did I Just See?" Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

Regardless of how you might stand on the thought of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, you must admit the hype surrounding this trailer was immense. For months we've heard the rumblings of a trailer on it's way and it has finally arrived. It feels like a weight has been lifted and the veil tossed away. The moment has come and all of our eyes have seen it (if not seen it hundreds of me)! From the moment the trailer began to the second it ended, I was hooked. Now I must admit that I've been a Batman fan since I was 4, so my initial reaction to this trailer was to be expected. However, after the hundreds of times I've viewed this since the leak to the HD trailer released by Snyder, I have really taken the time to analyze every aspect of this trailer. After so much thought, my reaction only grows stronger. With each viewing I find myself just as enthralled as the first time. From the tone, to the dialogue, to the set, to the costume, to the camera angles, to the easter eggs, to the symbolism, I was giddy(not a description I often use especially for myself). This trailer set the tone for the exact Batman I've longed to see for so long. Never before have we seen a Batman as big, as brooding, as menacing, as brutal, as we've seen Ben Affleck's Batman to be so far. Also, no movie incarnation of Superman prior to Henry Cavill could have ever stood up to any Batman, let alone this one. But, that is why this trailer sold me so well. It gave me the best Batman I've ever seen, but gave me a Superman worth fighting. Nothing is more boring than getting something so good to use it on something so crappy. Luckily, I don't believe this is one of those situations. Finally, the money shot. Batman asking Superman, "Tell me, can you even bleed? You will." This just pumped everything up to 11! We know now, the battle is on, and it's going to be a crazy one. Overall, the trailer itself was a home run not just for someone like me who loves Batman, but as a film fan. It had everything a teaser needs with a good balance of exposition, tonal direction, and of course a money shot worth seeing and hearing.

Now, I know some have already began to pick apart everything in the trailer, for instance Mr. Sunday Movies has already done a "Things You Missed" video on the trailer that you can watch here, but I would like to speculate even further. However, Mr. Sunday Movies does a very comprehensive job so if you'd rather watch that click the link above. Alright, let's dive in!

1. Metropolis Reconstruction
So in the opening shot of the Superman statue, farther in the distance you are able to see a crane. I believe this means there is still some rebuilding being done after the MoS battle. However, considering that the other buildings seem to be unscathed, I'm assuming this is at least a year or so later. It looks as if most of the devastation as been rebuilt, but as if there are still some areas to clean up.

2. Pockocmoc Satellite
Now this one could admittedly be absolutely nothing, but let's speculate anyway! I think the inclusion of Superman holding the either Russian missile or satellite could be an indication that Superman does indeed work in some shape or form for the government. I believe Superman will be working with the government in order to prove his allegiance, and in doing so will help show the world that America is under his supervision. Also, this could be a nice nod to The Dark Knight Returns when Superman intercepts a Russian nuke and it detonates leaving most of America in a blackout.

3. The Riddler
Obviously, I must mention the Riddle question mark that any Batman fan would have seen stick out. It's a very nice nod to the length of Batman's career so far as well as a nod to the Riddler's existence in this universe so far. Personally, I hope we see the Riddler pop up in a Batman standalone because one thing lacking in the Batman movies so far is his detective side. The Riddler challenges his abilities to deduce and to use his genius intellect to solve a problem rather than his physical strength. This aspect of Batman is one of his most important character traits and it has not been used to it's potential so far. Hopefully a Riddler can help flesh that out a bit more.

4. Ben Affleck Staring at the Batsuit
Now this is something that I only noticed after the millionth time I watched the trailer. When Affleck stares at his costume, you can see a light flickering on his face. It looks to me like light from a tv or a monitor. It also is flashing fairly quickly which would indicate a fast moving image. I believe this is a flashback to the destruction of Metropolis and Bruce contemplating his return to the Cape and Cowl. This makes sense because right at this moment Jeremy Irons, who will be Alfred, mentions getting a fever, from the feeling of hopelessness. It wouldn't be anything too special, but still a nice tidbit to know Bruce was watching, and the Superman was the catalyst to make Batman return.

5. Seeing Batman Walk
There's a point in the trailer where Batman walks out from some form of devastation. To me this looks like the location that Wonder Woman was seen standing in her reveal poster. Perhaps this could be a sequence later in the movie after Bruce and Kal make up, or before hand, and this battle is how they meet.

6. What the Hell is In His Hand? 
In the same shot with the Riddler logo, Batman is seen holding a large object but it is unclear as to what it is. It looks almost like a Gravity Hammer from Halo, but I digress. I wonder if it some weapon he is using against Superman. Also, another quick note, Batman is holding a sniper rifle in another shot, similar to another scene inThe Dark Knight Returns where he uses a rifle.

7. The Alfred Dialogue
Obviously, I touched on it earlier, but these few line (expertly delivered by Irons) have a lot to say about Batman. Like I mentioned, I believe the hopelessness he refers to could be Bruce's reaction to discovering someone so powerful exists in his world, but I also believe it speaks about Batman's past. The line right after this one says, "It turns good men, cruel." I believe this supports the idea that Joker has killed Jason Todd in this universe. I think Alfred is talking about Batman's inability to save Jason, in which he's never been the same. After this death, he became more cruel and punishing. Perhaps this is Alfred's warning to Superman.?

Finally, thank you all so much for reading (if you even made it this far). I know this was a bit of a long one, but there was just so much for this Batman nerd to say! Again I loved this trailer. I feel like it delivered on everything a teaser should have as well as everything a nerd like me could want. If you liked this analysis please comment, share, and thumbs up! Go watch Mr. Sunday Movies "Things You Missed" video on this trailer, and let me know how you liked the trailer. Is there something you wish you saw that you didn't? Did you not like the trailer? What are your speculations? Sound off below!

May 2, 2015

Avengers Age of Ultron Reaction and Review [Spoilers]

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I was one of the many that went to the Thursday screening of Avengers Age of Ultron. My theater was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as me and the audience all awaited to first image of this highly anticipated movie. Finally, when it actually started everyone cheered and immediately went silent. From that beginning of the movie to the end of the mid-credits scene, it was a high intensity roller coaster ride of action, comedy, and despair. That last part is what I believe helped differentiate this Avengers from the first which is crucial. As a studio, you don't want to make your sequels feel like the same movie, and they definitely succeeded. As for the action, it was more intense and much broader in scope. Everyone got their due and everyone was able to shine. The choreography for each character felt like it fit very well. Then, the comedy. Wow. Going in to this movie, I'd heard from many sources like AMC Movie Talk, Schmoes Know, Variety, and Rotten Tomatoes that this movie was significantly darker than the first, so I was a bit skeptical about the presence of comedy in this film. However, it was so well done and appropriate that it is actually my second favorite Marvel movie in terms of the comedy and level of fun (Guardians of the Galaxy is number 1). From Ultron, to Vision, to Hawkeye, to Nick Fury, everyone had their due. They all got to say something quirky and funny. These three aspects made it a phenomenal Marvel movie, worthy of the mantle of an Avengers movie. So, let's address some of the strongest points in the movie.

What Worked?

1. The Vision

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He was so much more than I could have expected. He lived up to the Vision in the comics, but surpassed the potential I thought he had for the big screen. His birth was handled very well with the team fighting over whether or not they should finish the creation process. Once he was born, it was nice to see a character that surpassed Thor's strength, Tony's wit, and Cap's wisdom. Although, just born, he was already so much more than any one of them could hope to be. I'm excited to see a character that can challenge the big three on the things they hold dearest. His action was also so incredible and fluid. It didn't seem to campy or not as grounded as the other characters. He is basically a god, but is so human all at the same time. That is something extremely hard to achieve, so bravo to Joss Whedon and the writers.

2. Hawkeye

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He is finally given his due in this movie, and it is better than great. We find out he has a family that he keeps secret to protect them as well as be able to visit them without suspicion. His role is so important to keeping the team together. He is the backbone for the whole team and keeps them all in the game when it looks like they are all but defeated. Hawkeye shows so much humanity in this film, something that was unfortunately taken from him in the first one, and it really keeps the idea of ground level victims fresh in your mind. Often with these big superhero films, we can forget that their are people on the ground that need hands on saving, and Hawkeye keeps us very much involved emotionally with that battle and struggle to save every person.

3. The Twins

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The twins were handled very well as well. I was a tad skeptical about seeing their types of powers being displayed against the powers we already see our team have. However, Scarlet Witch's telekinesis was very appropriately represented without being to hard to follow. And Quicksilver's speed was shown in slow-mo as well as in conjunction with regular speed action. It was a great dichotomy between representations of one power. It really highlighted how great his abilities are. They also blended very well with the team as well as against them. They were tragic, but still had a nice rise to becoming heroes.

4. Team Tension/Dynamic

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It was awesome seeing how the team functions now that they've been working together for some time now. The members actually have background to pull from and past experiences together that allow for some great rapport. The trinity of Thor, Iron Man, and Cap have some great lines together and a lot of tension. They are the best of friends and the worst of friends throughout the movie. The creation of Ultron, the loss of Loki's staff, and the creation of Vision allow for all three to have differing opinions and literally fight each other over who is right. This sets up Civil War up very well as well as Infinity War.

5. Ultron

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Most will agree that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is lacking villains that we care about. The game has officially changed with Ultron. He was conniving, menacing, brilliant, and funny. He was tragic, idealistic, and fanatical. He has all of the qualities one would hope to see in just a dynamic character, let alone a villain. What really lent to the character was James Spader's genius voice work and Tony Stark's personality qualities. The marrying of these two aspects are what helped make it easier to create a villain that could challenge the team in a way we've never seen before. It brought something new to the table with all the flavor of a classic villain hellbent on world destruction. I hope that this isn't the actual last of Ultron we see.

What Did Not Work?

1. The Cut

When watching this movie, there are certain scenes where it is too obvious that the scene was cut shorter for the sake of time. Many movies do this, but unfortunately some of these scenes seem to stick out. For instance, Thor's re-entrance into his dream sequence was obviously cut down and reworked to fit the time of the movie. It was very interesting and I wish we were able to see more of this side storyline, but I understand why it was shaved off. I just wish it wasn't so obvious. Also, while the team is at Hawkeye's house it seems like there was more going on with the characters, but that too was cut down for the sake of overall time. For a moment in the movie that is supposed to be a rest from the action, it seemed to still move very fast. 

2. The Accents

I know that they wanted their Quicksilver to stand out and be different from Fox's Quicksilver, but did they really need him and Wanda to be Eastern European? Both Fox and Marvel must take large liberties with the character because neither can use him or her to their full advantage, but it seems like an unnecessary addition to the movie to have two talented actors do horrible accents for characters that didn't need to be from that part of the world. Marvel just seemed to reach too far with their wanting to make the characters different, and in doing so, almost took me out of the movie every time one of these actors spoke. It's so unfortunate because both are extremely good actors and had some very good lines, but when spoken in that accent it just comes off as campy and amateur.

3. Joss vs. Marvel

This wasn't as apparent at first, but after seeing it several times now, it is clear that Joss Whedon had a very different vision in his mind that didn't make it to the big screen. Now, I know that the studio and producers should have a lot of say in what makes it into the final cut, however, Joss knows these characters so well and has proven himself worthy of guiding the team through universe changing events. It seems like Marvel perhaps should have listened to him a bit more. Also, Joss in recent interviews seems to be a bit bitter when talking about Marvel and the process of getting this film done. However, this is a minor complaint, that again, is not that apparent. 

4. Ultron's Evolution

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Even though the pace was extremely fast, it was still too jarring to see Ultron transform from a broken piece of scrap metal to a fully formed sentient robot. It was literally from one scene to the next. Then after the second battle he and the Avengers have, he already has his Vibranium body. It just seemed too fast, and like his struggle for evolution wasn't fleshed out as much as it could have been.

5. Where We Are Left

Once Ultron is destroyed the movie ends in like 5 minutes. It was not long enough for us to breathe and calm down like the team apparently had. Also, I'm fine with a new team of Avengers forming, but it didn't seem like a good spot to end to prepare us for Ant-Man, Civil-War, or any other upcoming Marvel film. Now, I know that they should focus on making a movie good by itself first, before they try to set up other films, but I feel like Marvel has set a standard of universe building and easter-egg hunting that they just didn't live up to in this film. It's not a big criticism, but it's one that has left me feeling a bit curious. After several viewings already, I can honestly say there are not very many easter-eggs to be found and roads left untraveled allowing us to wonder what is to come.

Should You See It?
OF COURSE! You'd be dumb not to go see it. To be honest, it was hard to find things in this movie that were negative. I really had to try and nit pick just to find the few that I did find, however this movie is overwhelmingly awesome and spectacular. It has everything we've come to expect out of an Avengers' movie and improved in the areas that felt a little less than great in the first movie. We got to see our team grow and intensify emotionally not only with each other but with themselves as well. This is a blockbuster in it's truest form. It keeps you engaged, enthralled, and excited throughout the entire movie. It's satisfying on almost every level and a job well done by Joss Whedon and Marvel.