Dr. Michael Morbius has had a rare blood condition since childhood and his adoptive father sends him to a medical school in New York. He becomes a top biologist and tries to find a cure for his disease and in this process, he runs some blood tests on himself that turns him into a vampire.
At first, the film held some promises when Morbius finds a cure and tries to eradicate the disease. But after turning into a vampire, the screenplay met a severe low and the film in its entirety became predictable at a very lazy pace.
The continuity of the film gave no impression and at halfway mark, my interest in the film was lost due to some reasons. One, the direction is ordinary, there is no depth, and lacks subtlety. Two, a superb selection of actors but below-average performances. Jared Harris as Dr. Nicholas is wasted due to less screen time, and Matt Smith was disappointing. What is Tyrese Gibson doing?
Three, the script has ridiculous plotholes and if not, then it is a very confusing script to direct. How did so many Costa Rican bats get trapped in the first scene when they flew out from the cave in the open air? How come only Dr. Bancroft became a vampire after the bite but the other victims stayed dead? How did the trapped bats assist Morbius to defeat Milo when these were locked in the lab? How come no one in the subway got frightened by two vampires fighting?
The existence of Michael Keaton as Vulture is very confusing. How is he transported? I thought Strange‘s magic spell placed everyone in their respective universes. So how come Adrian Toomes knows about Spiderman and asks Morbius to team against him? And how did Toomes gear up? Milo revealed to Michael in the prison that he also used a blood plastic flask in his absence. But the major concern is how come the security didn’t find out the flask in his pocket? He lied about his being a lawyer. How come he couldn’t get caught at the security checking. Did he show them his fake lawyer card or what?
Morbius makes the audience boo because there is nothing much to be impressed with. To some extent, Jared Leto played his part of Morbius pretty well but certainly not one of the roles he will be remembered for. And Leto-Smith’s onscreen brotherhood was a delight that translated their roles into pains and tears of their origins that leads to need and greed due to which they began to fight. But Smith’s character development was extremely immature. The film needed to drop some minutes in Smith’s Milo turning evil after drinking the blood.
Morbius is easily one of the worst superhero films produced in recent years. A film that missed almost every element to impress the audience.
What marvels with the film is the consistent pace at which the screenplay holds firmness and makes the actors mesmerize with their quality performances. They all were exceptional. Their roles were well adjusted in their given screentime according to their weight and importance of them in the story.
As many major incidents were directed in the right tone, there do are some issues where I felt that Ridley Scott lost the edge or preferred theatrical license. The most critical concern was Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. Couldn’t understand why Leto was chosen for the role and all this hard work on prosthetics transformation. Only Ridley can explain the vision behind believing that Leto will do justice. Leto’s Paolo Gucci is a strange comic relief who is like a fool or a jester in the Middle-Age royal court. I could not take him seriously. I felt as if this was some parody or his imitation of Paolo’s foolishness. Not sure if this was disrespect but I had to question myself if Paolo Gucci really was a nincompoop. There is no doubt about Leto’s performance as a funny Gucci being entertainment for the audience, he did act well. But, did Paolo carry the same traits, or was he deliberately put to insult?
Another concern is the film’s length. Because the pace of the story was consistent, a lengthy film made the watch on the wrist tickly-ticking. To my understanding, a story like House of Gucci perfectly fits for a limited series format rather than a 158-minute saga. I think FX‘s American Crime Story would have done a favor to its audience way more than this film. Despite being a quality film, a school of thought may construct to theorize that the dramatizing of around three decades with these characters in a single film would not develop that much storytelling.
I am disappointed with the Oscars, how come Lady Gaga is not nominated for the Best Actress? This has to be her best performance. The role of Patrizia Reggiani in the house of Gucci was a bomb that exploded with many consequences. And Lady Gaga’s execution was so well-crafted that the viewers will get irritated with her for everything she stood for. In the second half, she will be on everyone’s nerve, and would love to see her die. And this is what performance is about. Play a good or bad character in a way that the audience treats the actor in the same manner as the character himself/herself.
The other major actors did well. Adam Driver continues his form. Jeremy Irons had his moments when his character gets extremely sick. Al Pacino’s prowess in his artistry was reflected when he returned from prison to lose his mind over the incidents he never came to be aware of.
House of Gucci is a favor to the fashion enthusiast and the history-digging audience who are interested to know how the mighty fell and lost control of one of the greatest luxury brands.
The third chapter of the DC Universe, Suicide Squad, is itself a suicidal and wasteful event coinciding the events of BatSup and parallel to the events happening in the upcoming Justice League (JL) film. The screenplay of the first 30 minutes of the screen time is faster than Barry Allen’s speed. Actually, a roller coaster ride where you try to adjust yourself to the altitude but have to do nothing but scream. The viewers will meet the same fate in this period of half an hour and it will look like a 30-minute over-exaggerated trailer.
No matter how slow-and-sound was the beginning of director David Ayer‘s Fury, this is the contrary. Keeping in mind this is such a major franchise and a freshly baked existence of some Suicide Squad comprised of dangerous super villains, the makers should have properly introduced these characters and build it to our understanding. They just didn’t define these people and kept them raw to the viewers.
My first and primary objection towards the film basically is the reason of the making of Suicide Squad. After the BatSup events, was the creation of a super villains squad necessary? Absolutely not! It never made any sense. A.R.G.U.S. intelligence officer, Amanda Waller‘s plan to assemble Task Force X for a top secret mission makes you think for a moment that the whole story or the film could have been skipped for the sake of some other introductory origins-based film on any iconic superhero.
Hardly a 5-second cameo of Barry Allen indicates the parallel connectivity of the upcoming JL film. The trailer of JL which was released a few months ago showed Barry accepting Bruce Wayne‘s offer to join a team of superheroes and here we see him helping A.R.G.U.S. to catch his enemy, Captain Boomerang. Another possibility to Barry’s cameo is that A.R.G.U.S. may have known Barry before Bruce hired him due to the fact that Amanda passed government files to Bruce which are based on metahumans that included pages on Barry and Arthur. In any case, it was a very short cameo but an interesting hint.
One of the major expectations from the film was the introduction of Batman’s most famous arch-enemy, Joker played by Jared Leto. 8 years after the events of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight involved Heath Ledger‘s version of Joker. Sadly the Leto one doesn’t come to the expectations after all the hype and legacy which Heath left on us. Joker’s involvement to the film is highly questionable. Not that the onscreen appearance of Joker is quite less than expected but the character’s involvement in the story of Suicide Squad doesn’t justify. Joker simply has no prominence in the film due to the fact his role is short for a reason.
Attached to Joker is the origin of Dr Harleen Quinzel. That famous interview with Joker in his cell which made her Harley Quinn is extremely short. The scene deserved a lengthy interview and expanding the after-effects could have given much a deserving screen-time to both from the origins. Shockingly, the entry of Joker in the film was very very ordinary.
Another minus of the film is the script which offers Batman and Joker sharing the same screen but does not confront. The mystery behind Robin‘s torn suit in BatSup film is still enclosed for God knows what reason. When the stories of different films in the same universe are interconnected in the same timeline, the balance of longevity should be cohesive. Robin’s death deserved a minor flashback in the film to solidify Joker’s involvement in the film.
Is there anything impressive about the film? Yes! The music department of the film has much to offer than the story and continuity. Academy award winning musician, Steven Price has produced a very impressive musical score with many attractive soundtracks fitting your mood with the scenes. The visual effects and costume designs are remarkable.
If Suicide Squad was the priority to produce after the events of BatSup, then the film badly lacked heavy writing. The characters are not detailed and the story itself is flat to the connectivity. Yes, it is entertaining with the flavour of humour added but then I would state the obvious that it is the script which attracts the viewers, not the proposal of adding humour for the sake of filling cinema houses. David Ayer’s direction is a question mark and nowhere to the level of excellence where he made Fury.
The problem between the shared universe is now the artistic creativity. There is a tremendous difference of pace and mode in both films, BatSup and Suicide Squad. If BatSup is dark and slow, then Suicide Squad is the contrary. When you shape a universe with different storylines and characters to describe and shot, the momentum is highly required to balance the films and bridge the gaps. Being the initial phase of DC extended universe, every film is playing a different note altogether. The continuity and conclusion of BatSup directly connect with the upcoming JL film but before the film releases, the producers will educate you the whos and whys of Diana Prince in next installment. The viewers who do not read comic books on these iconic superheroes have no luxury of understanding these powerful dudes but have to struggle and understand them after watching JL as the solo films on Barry and Arthur are bizarrely slated after JL. In the same case, the viewers who have never read about the team of super-villains in comics are and will be completely at a loss while watching the film and making it look overstuffed. DC/WB people must consider changes in their strategy and forget about catching a supersonic train which takes them to their rivals.
This part will touch some more important issues and aspects related to the film Batman v Superman (BatSup). Before I begin, I must remind the readers here that this blog is continuity to the previous blog. So the first timers of the ultimate case here should first read the previous part here.
1) COLLAPSE OF WAYNE BUILDING
Although it was General Zod‘s wrath on Metropolis as Mr. False God tried to avoid as many casualties as he can but it was too late and severe was the collateral damage. One of the damages perforated the owner and made his mind to save the entire human race from the culprit even if there was a 1% chance. The visual presentation of the collapse was intense and powerful. And the collapse was where the rivalry came to birth. Scenes after the collapse will remind the comic readers the story-lines, Batman: Cataclysm and Batman: Aftershock.
2) GRANNY’S PEACH TEA
No matter how bad was Shah Rukh as Lex Luthor, he did a cruel favor to Senator Finch and viewers by teaching a very expensive lesson. The court hearings abruptly paused by the scared Senator when she witnessed the jar. To the standards of a deceiving villain, this was unpredictably more than a cruel punishment. Luthor played an astonishing strategy behind the scenes and successfully manipulated much of the outsiders of court to gash more hatred towards a False God.
3) BRUCE WAYNE’S WORKOUT
The Batman of 40s cannot offer you much of the 127 styles of martial arts he learnt in young age in his prime fighting career but he performed impressive workouts which was highly necessary to present.
4) THE GLADIATOR MATCH
This was the match written in the clouds. As Lex played the role of Michael Buffer by announcing and adding more spice by billing the fight as God versus Man, Day versus Night, Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham, this created more intensity. Result? I found a much heavenly comfort to see the fight between the iconic heroes and that turned out to be jubilant. The fight surpassed my expectations. This is exactly what we all needed. Plus the glimpse of fight is somewhere similar to the writings of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. One cannot ask for a better fight between God and man than this.
5) ARRIVAL OF WONDER WOMAN
As much as Lex proved an overacting jester to me, his creation shattered the level of curiosity to know him. Doomsday was Lex’s answer to destroy the MOS. The battle was deadly but it was more like a hard struggle of lowering down the sound knob of stereo system when it is the loudest when you are very far and your parents are about to enter home.
Anyhow the battle met its peak at the sudden arrival of Wonder Woman who as Diana Prince was walking hither and thither before. I would say the flow of that battle action sequence was so deep to me that I couldn’t realize that the one who saved poor Batman’s ass from Doom-Doom wouldn’t be the recharge Superman on the space but her. Wonder Woman theme was very impressive but the intro of WW was far better than the other two heroes in the film.
WHY BATSUP DIDN’T COME UP TO THE EXPECTATION?
Not many have noticed and tried to analyze as what exactly made the response of general public so negative. What deceived them? Why did the film with so many promises become unacceptable? In my view, the first reason was the funny guy in the red suit. Deadpool was released a month prior to BatSup. Being r-rated, Deadpool wasn’t a huge threat to the film’s business as Captain America: Civil War which was released after it. But Deadpool the superhero and Deadpool the film met an unexpected universal appraisal.
Contrary to philosophy and filmmaking of DCs, Deadpool was a highly entertaining popcorn grabbing comedy film which won heart of all age of viewers turning the tables wrong on the producers of BatSup who were prepared to show a very dark humorless presentation of the film a month later. Being the highest grossing r-rated film, such success built uninsured change in emotions among the viewers in tatters as the overjoyed viewers of Deadpool fell in their graves in the theaters to find the film awful. Naturally it was like watching any Terrence Malick film after any of Frat Pack films.
2) UNDERSTANDING A UNIVERSE DIFFERENT THAN MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
Being a DC Comics lover, I have a lot of respect for Marvel comics as both the giant comics publishing companies created the most loving superheroes in the golden age for generations. But what hurts me is such a powerful cinematic universe of Marvel are more inclined towards box office collections than the character development of their superheroes. Filmmakers in MCU produce popcorn grabbing circus films where the focus is on winning hearts of the viewers by entertaining them. The producers are more focused on eating peanuts in circus rather than reading to us Marvel’s best comics stories. They make their superheroes jesters in the court. We see superheroes performing slapstick, acting silly and speaking one-liners. Films like Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Ultron were all funny films. Recently released Captain America: Civil War made a mockery of all involved major superheroes fighting in airport and joking/apologizing while punching each other.
As Marvel Studios were the first among the comics publishing companies to create a cinematic universe with the help of Walt Disney Studios, it became acceptable for viewers to recognize the films based on Marvel superheroes as the true comics cinematic industry. There was no competition in years as WB were focused on Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Trilogy. When The Dark Knight Rises was released, MCU were concluding their first phase. This year with the release of BatSup, MCU have entered in their 3rd phase.
Many of the DC superheroes are not that universally recognized as Batman and Superman. Even the third hero of trinity who is Wonder Woman never got a single film before this in 75 years, so is the case with other heroes. So for the viewers, it will take time to understand the existence and culture of this universe and its heroes, and their powers and villains. It is pretty hard to expect their heroes to be as funny and perform slapstick as heroes existing in Marvel universe.
3) IMPROPER CONSTRUCTION OF DCEU
After announcing the birth of their cinematic universe rival to MCU, the biggest challenge for the big bosses of DC/WB was to create a distinguished, recognized but an acceptable universe. WB lacks no finance to fund the DC films but it was all about the best brain creating a perfect theory before forwarding a proposal. For me the outcome was very strange and questionable.
In Oct.2014, when WB announced 10 DC films to be produced and released between 2016 and 2020, it was a massive disappointment to see every JL superhero gifted a solo film but not Batman! (Superman had his MOS before all this)
Besides that, film for Green Lantern, being such a beloved superhero among the comic readers was adjusted last which gave a hint that he will be introduced to us pretty late. Shazam indeed is a potential name but wasn’t DC’s original property in first place. Shazam character was created under Fawcett Comics and ran the issues until the company shut down. In 1972, DC publisher licensed Shazam from Fawcett and revived.
Two JL films were slated in different future timelines, the first part being the fourth in line to release even before solo films on Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg with no proper introductions which brought more confusions to understand their strategy towards assembling a team of heroes so early and so undefined with underdeveloped characters.
The reason why the story of BatSup to the viewers in theater fell so incoherent was the very reason described in previous paragraph that for assembling a team in so near future, they made the film look overstuffed.
4) BRINGING TWO ICONIC HEROES FACE-OFF TOO EARLY
Indeed historic announcement of bringing BatSup together at San Diego comic-con three years ago was crazy which made the attendees and viewers lose their mind in excitement. But some brains surely began thinking as what made them brought none other than Batman in to Superman’s world? Was that their only key to challenge or announce a new universe rival to them?
Bringing Batman meant connecting two different worlds in same film with more than one story. With recent conclusion of Nolan’s trilogy, reintroducing Batman in mere four years was too early. Producers needed some more breathing to watch a new Batman. Nolan’s and Zack’s Batman were very different, could have been better if he had been given his own standalone film first and later introduced him to MOS.
5) RELEASED PG-13 THEATRICAL CUT
This was the major reason why the film received negative reviews by critics and general public. A 150-minute film released in March worldwide offered us a confused broken story-line making every viewer Sherlock to magnify and puzzle the broken pieces himself/herself. The editor who chose to cut no less than 30 minutes lacerated very very critical and defining moments of the film due to the fact, the critics and general public turned clueless and gave up.
Had the producers decided to release the 182-minute original cut in first place, the critics would have penned positive reviews and would also have made the percentage bar rise above in Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. The general viewers would accept and the box office collections would definitely hit a billion-dollar mark. Like I said before, I waited months and watched the original cut at first place, and I admit that this version meticulously made more sense than the released one, defined the core characters more broad and created a more cohesive transition.
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGES IN ULTIMATE EDITION
Like I wrote above that many of the important scenes were badly cut from the released version. Let me notify you the deleted scenes proving the laziness of WB for forwarding the film without pointing or realizing what a terrible mistake that was;
1) Jimmy Olsen wasn’t introduced in the beginning.
2) Superman wasn’t shown helping the rescuers pulling out dead bodies after the blast in court which after that he flew in disdain and left the scene with the witnesses sharing negative responses.
3) The very next scene, Lex Luthor rushed to LexCorp only to spot a damaged glass-box with no kryptonite. It never showed the viewers that Lex Luthor had seen the footage from one of the CCTV cameras that Batman entered the LexCorp office and grabbed the element. Had they shown this scene in released version, would make sense for viewers how in the world the Caped Crusader got the Kryptonite.
4) Both scenes featuring Jenna Malone was cut from the released version which made the viewers pay a very heavy price of dislikeness. Malone played the scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs, Jenet Klyburn, who has a couple of scenes in the film of sheer prominence. UE version clears that she is the one to whom Louis Lane hand over the bullet for scanning which was shot and found in Africa.
In the other scene after the blast in court, it is again she who confirms that the same bullet and Wallace Keefe‘s wheelchair were made from the same metal and the inside of wheelchair was lined with lead. And we know Superman’s weakness that he can detect any solid object but not lead. Without this confirmation in released version, viewers would have raised the question how come Superman didn’t detect a bomb in the court.
5) The most important cut from the released version easily was the moment before the arrest of Lex Luthor which shows the upcoming JL villain Steppenwolf. His cameo before the arrest of Lex Luthor in UE was a very critical bombshell on the viewers after watching the whole film. WB will regret cutting this scene from the released version. An angry departure of his hologram existence after communicating with Lex Luthor raised questions. Was Lex aware of Steppenwolf’s existence even before he planned to take on Superman? Was Lex already in talks with him? Was creation of Doomsday idea of Lex or his?and many more. But in any case, his short appearance in ultimate edition made some sense of properly introducing the commander of parademons. The announcement of his being main villain was unnecessary if they had included this vital scene in released version.
HOW DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CREATED AND PRESENTED?
Ok I know the existing universe will run as planned whatever the case is but I have every right to forward my idea of a better and acceptable universe than this. Because in first place, I disagree with the decided structure of this running cinematic universe due to the reasons I explained above in Improper Construction of DCEU.
I need no urgency or haste to play cat and mouse game in order to come close to Marvel and their universe. If WB would hand me this responsibility, I would prefer presenting origin stories of iconic heroes over a gladiator match and assembling of JL at the speed of light. My creation of universe will have phases (say Phase I, II, III and so on). For a better foundation, my pillars in Phase-I should be strong enough to hold the next phases.
My Phase-I will have 8 films, seven of these will be origins-based solo films for each original member of the JL. Those members are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. The reason of strictly picking these seven heroes for Phase-I is because when the first ever Justice League was assembled as JL or Justice League of America (JLA), the above-mentioned superheroes were assembled to appear in The Brave and the Bold (issue#28) back in 1960 conceived by writer Gardner Fox. With seven origins-based solo films, my eight and final Phase-I film will be a proper JL film where all the seven above-mentioned heroes will unite to fight against one of the main allies of Darkseid.
With 81% record drop in box office collections in second week, WB was hit by a meteorite with the most harsh responses and many of the viewers complained the film to be humorless. For the sake of excellent collections from future DC films, the producers are compromised to add humor in a dark universe and fulfill their demands, so that their eyes would meet a glimpse of a colorful circus show like the shows which are produced by Marvel studios. This is like a gunfire on an old pedestrian walking in a narrow street.
Some sources say that many scenes of upcoming Suicide Squad are re-shot for adding humor. Zack Snyder also has cleared that upcoming JL film will have a lighter tone than BatSup film. My expectations can raise the bar only if the upcoming films offer me potential stories and strong connectivity with storyline of other films keeping a balance between humor and dark. A serious story like BatSup cannot offer you humor but may entertain you once you understand the characters and their worlds.
For me, my major concern in future DC films is seducing me with dynamic presentation of stories where the directors properly focus on hero’s character development and nurture him/her with the flow. No matter the film is dark or funny, the director should use the influences and creativity of great comic writers and apply in their story, the winner must be the true portrayal of superhero and the audience should provide a positive response.
Roping and involving Geoff Johns and Ben Affleck for upcoming JL and Batman standalone films is a brilliant decision from WB. A creative team of comic-book consultants should be established under Johns who would have authority to raise their voice over the scripts and screenplays.
BatSup case is a mature affair with super-excellent work on screenplay and action sequences. The characters, Alfred and Lex Luthor, offer you to listen the best and powerful dialogues whereas performance-wise Ben Affleck as Batman is the true winner and his portrayal will remind you numerous Bruce Waynes from comic books. Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Amy Adams as Lois Lane play tremendous supporting roles.
Henry Cavill as Superman is a dignified figure but not signified. He has been impressive but after finishing two superhero movies, I am still waiting for some signature mark on the character. He is yet to remind me Superman from the comic books as Christopher Reeve defined him in his time.
No wonder how many great actors have played the role of Alfred Pennyworth but none of them remind me the character I read in the comics. Not only the films, neither Alfred of Gotham TV show nor the one in the game Arkham Knight reminded me. Hans Zimmer (in his final superhero film) and Junkie XL produced very impressive scores. Zack’s favorite cinematographer Larry Fong has done terrific cinematography like previous Zack films.
I would like to humbly request all of you who have read such a lengthy review or to which I call an Ultimate Case, to kindly avoid/ignore the released version and consider it as a bad dream but give a favor to yourself and watch the Ultimate Edition. May the future DC films does Justice, Amen.
My excitement towards the film began three years ago after release of Man Of Steel (MOS) when to a very huge surprise for comics readers, it was announced in San Diego Comic Con 2013 that two of the most iconic superheroes, Batman and Superman, will feature in same frame for the first time in cinematic format. The hint and hope of bringing Batman in Superman’s world was humming when Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer forwarded the idea to the Warner Bros. (WB) studio to bring back a Superman film. Both gentlemen were involved in The Dark Knight Trilogy as franchise’s director and writer respectively.
I will turn my head towards the proposed and finalized slate for DC Universe later. First thing first. The film was easily one of the most awaiting films of this year. Keeping in mind the decades-long rivalry among comics readers of two of the most recognized publishing companies, DC comics and Marvel comics, it was a huge test for WB to surpass all the expectations and make the new fictional comics universe look promising. Sadly the film couldn’t live up to the expectations and after a record collection on box office worldwide in first week, it suffered more than 80% drop in 2nd week resulting into failing to reach the rank of distinguished films of the elite three commas club.
Luckily I planned not to watch until the high-definition quality show up. Before the release, most of the critics unexpectedly passed extremely negative reviews. Then viewers heavily criticized the film for being too dark, humorless, lengthy, boring and many more. My honest believe was either the trailers of BatSup I watched were the most beautiful deception or the film’s message didn’t convey properly. When the news break out that the director’s cut will be releasing soon with additional footage of half an hour, then I made my mind to watch the ultimate edition straightly instead of the released version.
After watching directly an ultimate edition which was a three-hour film, I was at ease to say that it was much a defined film with many loose plot holes cleared. BatSup was pretty a mature affair on a well established script connecting with future DC films. The viewers must understand that as per the future plans of DC films shared universe, three aspects were taken into consideration while the film was shot;
1) Continuity from events of MOS
2) Batman taking on Superman after Metropolis attack
3) Foundation of Justice League (JL) by connecting the story with future DC Films
In all three cases, the running time of film was supposed to stretch at length so that it may offer you insiders for the coming busy years of the shared universe. At the same time, I feel sorry for viewers that they had to watch a released version of what looked like an incomplete film. My brothers pointed me the scenes which were cut from the released version which made me realize what a terrible mistake the producers made.
WHAT WENT WRONG???
1) UNIMPRESSIVE START
The film began with quite a traditional curtain openers presenting the name of film with cast and the rest which now often do not happen in big films. Plus beginning the film with Bruce Wayne’s origins was a bogus idea. Director Zack Snyder should have saved this moment exactly after that gladiator match when Superman speaks the name “Martha”. The film should have begun as depicted in the second scene that Bruce arrives Metropolis and struggles to rescue.
Also I have sympathies for Bruce whose parents come to the screen to get killed whenever they show up. His parents have more than that to offer in few Batman story-lines in comic books. Any of his parents’ moments with Bruce can be utilized in film and replace the scene with their murders because it has been repeated so many times that viewers are bored now.
2) CASTING SHAH RUKH KHAN AS LEX LUTHOR
Among all the performances, the character which majorly disappointed me was Lex Luthor Jr., the role performed by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. Could have been better if Jesse Eisenberg really have played the role as was planned. There was just too much overacting and Joker-esque phenomena which visually do not come up to villainthrophy. I tried my level best to take the character serious as his given dialogues were so powerful and because he IS the main villain and the creator of Doomsday. But I guess Zack misunderstood the character and made it look crazy and annoying.
3) BATMAN – THE PUNISHER
Ben Affleck’ version of Batman, the suit, the batmobile, the batplane, the weapons.. every single thing was very very well up to the mark besides one thing which I found not of his combating nature anymore, KILLING!!! That is some bitter truth that Batman used to kill his enemies in the earliest comics and you won’t believe but in brutal ways. I remember he once flew batplane with a monster whose neck was hanging by the rope and threw it in flight when it died. Well later on Batman decided to follow no-killing rule on which he is persistent for long long time. There have been moments in comics when Batman could have lost his patience and killed someone. In Batman: Under The Hood story arc, when Jason Todd demanded to Batman to kill the Joker after the tragic event in Batman: A Death in the Family, this was the most emotional moment he could have changed his mind but he chose not to kill the Joker.
If intensity has raised such a bar to test Batman’s patience and made him stick with no-killing rule, I see no reason of killing 32 bad people in the film whatever the situation is. Killing is simply not his cup of tea.
4) “MARTHA” & INSTANT BESTIES
I don’t have any idea whether Zack left the director’s chair and asked some amateur guy to conclude that epic fight or did he eeny meeny any of his alternative ideas of concluding the fight because this was the most ridiculous and embarrassing conclusion. This was not written on the clouds nor should Zack fool every viewer to make a fight turning into some B-grade parody.
Sup calling his adopted mother’s name to avoid killing from Bat Wayne was total nonsense. In few seconds, Bruce converted his enmity to friendship and even promised him that he won’t let his mother die, and later when Bat saved his mother, he gave a one-liner “I am a friend of your son’s” ffs!!!! This doesn’t make any logic!! This vacuous nonsense killed the viewer’s tempo and seriousness turned into laughing-stock. Director would have concluded this fight by more than hundred ways but not this.
5) UNNECESSARY EXPOSURE IN MARKETING
Reaching to the hype the producers created by the announcement of the film, many theories and rumors developed on the internet about the possible plotlines. Some theories later turned true as it happens with many films. But quite an excitement hit a low with over exposures. As Lex’s creation was much in discussions, they dropped the bomb in their second trailer by exposing the Doomsday as his very creation. I had no issue in his revelation but the trailer had exposed too much the origin of its character.
The second blow was in the beginning of this year when Empire Magazine gave a huge spoiler of Omega symbol. That opened further doors for completing the puzzle, with same picture introduced in final trailer. Showing Parademons in trailers was also very unnecessary. The plotline became too predictable after that.
6) KILLING JIMMY OLSEN
For God sake why? Why in the world did you kill such a prominent character who is Superman’s best friend in comics? Character of Jimmy Olsen should have been utilized for a lot of supporting role between Daily Planet and Superman. His portrayal of a CIA operative was taken from Mark Millar‘s Superman: Red Son, the other comic book story-line than The Dark Knight Returns the story of the film is inspired from. Killing of Olsen in this universe is a huge loss.
1) COMICS REFERENCES & IMPORTANT CLUES
The most impressive aspect of the film was its tribute to few comic books. Many of the scenes, many many scenes were referred from comic book issues and this is exactly what should be done in all comics-based films.
The Dark Knight Returns:
> Murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents was exact from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Even the killer’s gun caught under Martha’s string of pearls was accurate. Another peak of accuracy was the timeline of tragedy in the film set in 1981 which naturally made two important things look realistic. One was that Young Bruce in the flashback was seven (Alfred confirmed us at the White Portuguese ship scene) making him born between 1974-75 which makes him in forties today, exactly as Bruce Wayne is presented. Second is the marquee of Excalibur in the flashback, keeping in mind the famous British film with the same title was released in the same year. Well done Zack!
> Two cops checking some abandoned building near Gotham Seaport encountered the Caped Crusader and exchanged similar conversation as in the book.
> Superman affected by the nuclear blast and recharging was also taken from the same book.
> Batman bursting the wall to grab a bad guy and exchange of words were almost similar from the same book. The main difference was in comics he was saved a girl and in film, he saved hmm can I call her name Bruce?
> The scene with lightning in the background after Batman saves his ass from Doomsday was homage to one of the most important comic covers.
> In the last scene after Lois dropped handful of dirt on Superman’s coffin, it later floated or shall I say levitated will remind you the conclusion of the book with a different superhero.
> Don’t know if I am accurate here but I believe Lex’s insane repeat of “Ding, Ding, Ding” was the sound of Mother Box‘s “Ping, Ping, Ping” depicted in various comic issues.
> Ralph Lister played the role of Dr. Emmett Vale who brought the hunk of Kryptonite found in the Indian Ocean to the lab of LexCorp. Dr. Emmett Vale is the creator of Metallo, the Kryptonite-hearted cyborg and also one of Superman’s dangerous villains.
> Robin’s damaged suit in Batcave was a well-known tragic event of brutal killing of second Robin i.e., Jason Todd. Joker killed him in A Death In The Family.
> When Doomsday fell back to Metropolis after nuke, he was dropped to uninhabited site called Stryker’s Island. This is a prison in Metropolis holding Superman’s most dangerous foes in comics. This place holds same importance to MOS as Arkham Asylum to the Caped Crusader.
> This film will be remembered for ages for two most important reasons. The biggest obvious reason was bringing two iconic heroes together for the first time in a cinematic venture. The second was offering us viewers a cinematic look at DC Comics’ most unthinkable and unforgettable comic-books event, Doomsday and Superman killing each other. The event took place in story-line The Death of Superman when both titans ultimately punched each other, collapsed and died. Almost similar event occurred in the film when both the titans killed each other and collapsed at the same moment.
> In Superman’s funeral, his coffin is black with silver ‘S’ reminding the return of Superman when he wore black suit with silver ‘S’ on it.
> Superb Easter egg or shall I say a very unexpected bombshell!!! While the funeral of Superman was carried out, 5 military planes flew in the air to honor the deceased God. But one of the planes after few seconds flew straight up. That may be Dan Amboyer who in IMDb is listed as uncredited ‘Drone Pilot’. This scene gave a major hint that it could be none other than Amboyer with the role of pilot i.e., Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern, who paid the tribute and left the site.
2) LOIS LANE’s CHARACTER PROMINENCE
That one supporting character which impressed me a lot was Amy Adam‘s Lois Lane. Zack gave her a shot more critical than her role in MOS. She was the one who washed the bad image or say ‘False God’ image of Superman, she was the one who found LexCorp corrupted. She got a lot of space to settle a case of corruption behind the curtains between Batman and Superman.
3) 9/11 AND US POLITICS
This was the original script presenting a plot somehow bringing the iconic heroes together but more than that there was a more human part involving politics and conspiracy theories. The collapse of Wayne Financial gave me a feeling of 9-11 event when twin towers collapsed. Theology and science compromised on Metropolis attack as the defense and security measures became a question mark.
Also when the film headed towards Africa where Lois Lane deal with the commander of Tuareg fighters, it offered to watch more involvement of US govt. African scenes brought a glimpse of insider of American invasion of Mali few years ago if I am not wrong!
The Godly figure i.e., Superman became a confused figure to whether classify him a good God or a bad God. Senate hearings and further attacks pushed towards more of viewers assumptions. I like the angle where the Metropolis attacks became a much concern of somehow bringing the saviors at one platform in future.
4) FUTURE DC FILMS’ CONNECTIONS
Keeping in mind the BatSup film is foundation for future DC films, I would like to appreciate the director in connecting the story somehow with interesting shots. Zack had confirmed before the release that future films on other superheroes won’t be origin films, so he presented some glimpse of interesting events happening in other parts of universe mostly from JL film.
Batman has dreamed bad in comics and he dreamed twice in film. In first dream, he visited graves of his parents and noticed blood seeping out from Martha’s. The grave broke and out came a colony of bats. Then appeared a human looking bat. That could possibly be Dr. Kirk Langstorm a.k.a. Man-Bat which gave us a hint that the villain may possibly feature in future (could be in Batman standalone film). Those who have played Arkham Knight would know the villain.
In another dream, Barry Allen appeared from a questionable timeline to warn Bruce about a possible threat from Superman and confirmed how correct he was. He specifically spoke about Lois and said “She is the key”. This scene is very possibly creating a bridge with the JL film to be released in Nov.2017.
Another important scene connecting JL film was Batman visiting post-apokoliptic world. Batman witnessed Omega symbol on the ground which confirmed the existence of Darkseid and obvious involvement in future DC films. The flying creatures in that action sequence were Parademons which in comics are troops of planet Apokolips ruled by Darkseid. So fingers crossed on the precise location of this scene. We will come to know about this location in future whether Batman stepped in Apokolips or some land occupied by Darkseid and his troops. Now that Steppenwolf is confirmed the main villain of JL film, so there is possibility to see Darkseid very soon because he is Darkseid’s uncle.
Stone father & son had an interesting cameo. Father Silas Stone used Mother Box to repair critical injuries and replaced lost body parts with mechanical limbs to his son Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg. Mother Box in comics is a portable supercomputer which posses powers and abilities. Now that the sources confirm that the major story dropping in JL film is Steppenwolf searching three Mother Boxes, which are located in Atlantis (Aquaman), Themyscira (Wonder Woman) and Earth. So the earth part is Cyborg’s for our understanding.
WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDED???
1) THE JOKER KILLING JASON TODD
Where ultimate edition cleared a lot of misunderstandings and plot holes from the released version, they missed a very important scene to add which was the fate of Batman’s counterpart Jason Todd a.k.a. Robin. In Batman: A Death In The Family, The Joker killed Jason Todd which is one of the DC Comics’ most important events. The Joker played by Jared Leto will feature in Suicide Squad but would have been more than a favor to add the tragic event exactly when Bruce looked at the damaged suit. A couple of minutes on the tragic flashback was easily replaceable to uninspired story-telling daddy Kent scene which was easily the most useless scene of the film. Now the tragic event is expected to hit the screen in Suicide Squad beginning a new cinematic phase of Batman-Joker historic rivalry.
2) GOTHAM CHARACTERS
As much as the viewers and journalists have called the film ‘overstuffed’ as well as the actor who played Alfred, Jeremy Irons, I would still pass a mark of appreciation towards the director in keeping some balance among the characters and story-lines connected with future DC films sharing the same universe.
In the meantime, I still believe that Gotham city didn’t get that exposure which was required in such a lengthy screen time. Alfred was the only recognized Gotham character supporting Bruce in the whole film as his parents were as usual killed again in couple of minutes. Lucius Fox is a potential character which the scriptwriters badly missed. With such remarkable work on Bat machines, Fox deserved to appear for couple of scenes. Also any member of the Gordon family should have been introduced.
(((Here I conclude the first part of my ultimate case towards the Dawn of Justice. The next and final part will be published very soon.)))
While I was hanging on Facebook and trying to put my effort on jumping towards the conclusions of the year 2013 and pickings from different aspects of film making, up comes the idea from my subconscious mind that why don’t I blog my choices? Sounds a great idea!!!
It is good to see that readers from many parts of the world get connect with the WordPress and by chance read my blogs. Academy Awards function will take place on March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. I was terribly waiting for most of English-language movies of 2013 to watch in good print. Downloaded the movies I needed to watch (mostly Academy Awards nominated) at minimum 720p. I have watched them in last couple of months and I sincerely am thankful to my readers and friends on Facebook recommending me the movies of last year.
So here is my pick from 2013 English-language movies whether nominated in Academy or not:
Best Production Design:
The Great Gatsby
We know what Baz Luhrmann is capable of. He is well-know for making stylish and very fashionable movies like Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001). Here he does the same as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby always demanded a ravishing look into the lifestyles of the Buchanan’s and parties of the Gatsby. Baz left me no option to look elsewhere.
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
So I forgot to propel you that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby not only demanded a ravishing look into the lifestyles of the Buchanan’s and parties of the Gatsby, but the novel also raises the significance of the dresses, the uniforms, the wardrobes to be used as per fashion and hugely fitting into a high-society urbanized life to convince and portray how the novel grows the writings on you. Catherine Martin was the lady hugely responsible for Moulin Rouge’s success as she went on to win 2 Academy Awards for Art Direction and Costume Designing for that movie. And once again she is just beyond the class in costume designing for The Great Gatsby. Bravo!
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Although I didn’t like this space movie but few elements were inviting. One of them was the sound blowing in your ears. The volume at space the movie spoke produce hysteria. By listening Sandra Bullock in her misery and trying to connect with the team, you are rubbing your ears as if you are trying to connect with them. Plays a vital role and that is where Gravity convince me.
Best Sound Editing: Rush
Vrrrrrroooooooooooooommmm, gear shifting, breaks, pressing accelerator hard. An epic F1 race between two great racers need that sound. Viewers need to feel the beat. Sound engineering has been a lusty ear therapy and it grows more in your eardrums with the intensity of battle on track between the two.
Best Music, Original Score: About Time
When it comes to writing music score for the movie, then it is supposed to be musical enough to make the screenplay and scenes of the movie catchy. That is the quality the musicians like Vangelis, Gabriel Yared, Hans Zimmer and Gustavo Santaolalla have, their scores flow and grow in the movie. Chariots of Fire, The English Patient, Dark Knight trilogy and Babel are such great examples.
About Time is a British movie directed by Richard Curtis, and with a disciplined film-making as the screenplay appealed, music score needed a heavy influence. Nick Laird-Clowes satisfies my ears from act 1 scene 1, when narration and intro begins. I must mention that Gravity and Rush are the other two which impressed me in this department but About Time is my pick.
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: The Wolf of Wall Street
But when it comes to original screenplay, then I find strong competition between Ron Howard’s “Rush”, Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”. Rush is sports drama film based on true events while Her is sci-fi romantic comedy film not close to reality. But Nebraska is a pure leather from alligator. Making the movie in black-and-white presents a poetic theme + an amazing father-son chemistry produces a gem. Screenwriter Bob Nelson did a timeless and terrific story writing and this was his debut in movie as screenplay writer.
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
She didn’t impress me in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ also directed by David O. Russell. But this movie is the real platform. JL is Rosalyn, wife of Irving played by Christian Bale. She is a mad lady who suddenly loses her temper. Mad in love with hubby will never file a divorce. Her role is shorter than the rest of all major characters in the movie but it is about influence and demand of her character developing in the script in the next half. Body language, facial variations, voice tone flexibility are just close to perfection. She richly deserves ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award on 2nd of March.
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Although I am not a lot in Jared Leto movies but by chance I watched him in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club. This was one of the best roles played in 2013. Jared Leto plays Rayon, a transgender woman, who suffers with HIV, joins fellow HIV fellow Ron Woodroof played by Matthew McConaughey as his business partner who will bring more HIV patients to Ron to join the Dallas Buyers Club. The role of Rayon was fictional and didn’t exist in reality but there are two most important aspects in this role. First thing is body transformation, he lost 30 pounds (14 kg) for the role. Secondly, the role itself. You won’t find Jared Leto in the role, he/she played an incredible role.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
How could I not pick Cate Blanchett for this category? This Woody Allen movie is not at all about his direction, it is first about her and perhaps has played her finest performance of career so far. Jasmine is an elite Manhattan socialite who is married to 9 years elder wealthy business magnate Hal played by Alec Baldwin. Things go against her and lose a huge fortune. She is mentally broken and financial status is badly wrecked.
It is almost impossible to read or measure her mental capacity when it comes to play a character in tantrum. She beautifully manage her character when she is normal, when she is about to burst out, when she is talking to herself or when she gets angry. So many times, viewers including me won’t understand her timing, we simply are not able to analyze the whole temperament. I will be surprised if she didn’t bag AcademyAward for BestActress on 2nd of March.
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Well to be honest it was a very hard decision. I was stuck between him, Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years A Slave”, Bruce Dern for “Nebraska” and Robert Redford for “All is Lost”. Besides Robert Redford, all are nominated for ‘Best Actor’ this Academy Award, so whoever wins between the three are deserving for me. I made my mind and picked McConaughey above them.
He is Ron Woodroof, who suffers HIV and the doctor has marked his death in maximum 30 days (but actually dies in 6 years). Like Jared Leto, he has transformed his body by losing 47 pounds (21 kg) for the role. Secondly, the aggression, the accent, the body language will take you to some other heights. In short, McConaughey has produced one gem of a performance which perhaps will remain highlight of his career.
Best Director: Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Need no introduction, but he produce a gem in almost every movie he directs. This time it is The Wolf of Wall Street. It is Jordan Belfort’s memoir which he adapted. It is 180-minute movie with 569 eff-words, the length you don’t expect to see in English movies but the quality is it will not bore you. The Belfort story will slowly slowly grow on you, things will be presented in such a way that you will ignite in their environment. Money, drug, sex are Scorsese’s favorite elements and will satisfy and propel you. With a critical subject, Scorsese has directed far better than other directors in my view.
Best Picture: Nebraska
And now my final say. Apparently the most understood movies, which I believe were the finest products of the year 2013 were Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, Her and Rush. I am very surprised Ron Howard’s “Rush” is nominated nowhere in Academy Awards categories. Anyhow, out of these 5 pictures, my pick is Nebraska. It is a story entirely different from the other four.
Nebraska is a case study of father-son chemistry on a simple plot. The old man is alone and he foolishly thinks he really won a million-dollar lottery. No one at his home trusts him but he is stubborn. His young son finally makes his mind to take him to Nebraska where he is supposed to collect his prize. It is a tale of a lifetime, a moment for old man to cherish once. The black and white concept of the movie produce a poetic nature. Every scene is like a hidden message. Truly the best picture of 2013…