Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Batman V Superman and Justice League

I didn't plan to write about this but I woke up with idea of what upcoming Justice League will be and I read this article about Batman V Superman's box office performance. This will contain some spoilers to Batman V Superman. I don't recommend seeing it but if you are going to see it anyway this will spoil one major plot twist and talk about dream sequences. Justice League prediction are based on what Batman V Superman showed us and many reviews and articles about the movie. Can't give credit where credit is due since I didn't plan this post and didn't save links. Most of it is my own prediction based of what I have read and seen.

Let's start with box office performance. News told how well movie did opening weekend but that is not all that matters. You had movie with three of DC's biggest superheroes and two of which are biggest superheroes even outside DC. You will get people to see it in first screenings even if the movie is bad one. It is more about interest of the characters and marketing. After premier movie's quality has something to do. It seems like drop between Friday and Sunday tells something about quality of Batman V Superman.

I wonder how global numbers are calculated. Movie premiered in Finland on Wednesday. I saw it on Thursday. Are those calculated towards global Friday performance. We had bank holiday on Friday so Thursday should have been quite equal Friday. Theater was quite empty then. Maybe it was word of mouth from Wednesday. Probably only us who had bought tickets earlier were in theater.

Batman V Superman spent much time to build up for upcoming Justice League movie. Too much and they may have told us too much. Even when they cut this from the movie.

I assume this was meant to be after Doomsday fight and it was replaced with prison scene because audience had to be hit in the head with fact that Darkseid will be villain of Justice League movie. Justice League movie is scheduled to be released next year. It is pretty clear they have the story set at this point. Question is did Batman see the future or were his dreams what he expected Superman to be.

I assume here he saw the future because it makes sense. Superman died in Batman V Superman. Rebirth was "hinted". In Batman's nightmares Superman was working with Darkseid's minions and Superman troops. This is probably what we will see in Justice League. Superman will reborn as something else or Darkseid gets hold of him. Superman and Darkseid are villains of Justice League movie.

Batman and Wonder Woman will form Justice League with others we briefly saw in Batman V Superman. In Batman V Superman Flash tells Batman Lois Lane is the key and Batman was right all along. This mean Batman knows Superman is good inside because their mothers have same name. Others don't believe him. They have seen Superman being with Darkseid and destroying Metropolis in Man of Steel.

Justice League movie is divided into two parts. First part will contain formation of Justice League and Darkseid's and Superman's attack on Earth. First part will end with Lois Lane speaking Superman from being evil. At this point Darkseid has practically won. Converting Superman will give Justice League first glimpse of hope. Converting Superman will end first part with positive note and hints fans will see Justice League they want in next movie.

If DC and Warner Bros don't stop the train here we will see November 2017 how correct I was. Maybe earlier since trailers tend to show us too much.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

I didn't have high hopes for Batman V Superman. I expected it to be mess with too many new characters introduced for Justice League movie. That was not problem. New characters were introduced but it only took couple minutes. We were only shown them. Movie concentrated on Batman and Superman. Wonder Woman was there to support them.

Some say Gal Gadon was great as Wonder Woman. I don't agree. Her action scene felt more like she was posing than fighting. Like watching moving painting. Some other scenes felt like that too. She was ok as Diana but we has seen similar thing done better before. I am not saying she did bad job or character was bad. She only felt too much like she was posing. I got same feeling from promotional pictures too.

Ben Affleck was good as Batman if you are ok with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns version of Batman. This Batman kills and brands ones who he let live. He uses guns. I am not biggest Superman fan. This movie made people react him somewhat realistically which I liked. It how ever didn't go far enough in it. Superman was guy who wanted to be good guy. Other times he did what he wanted and pushed others around because he was stronger than others. If scene required he was ready to die to save others. There was no consistency in his character. It is like they added too much into one movie and didn't have enough time for Superman's story arc.

Movie is big mess. One reason for it is Lex Luthor. I didn't get what he was supposed to be. It was like he was several Superman and Batman villains at once. There was one scene where he was like Joker. He didn't have any reasons for what he did. He was just evil and he made most of the build up for later movies.

Spoilers from this point on. Story is big reason why Batman V Superman is big mess and I can't explain it without spoilers.

Lex Luthor knew every superhero's secret identities. Lex Luthor knows who every superhero we have seen in DC Cinematic Universe is. Batman and Wonder Woman learns about other Justice League members after Batman decrypts Luthor's secret files. Luthor knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and Superman is Clark Kent. Movie don't think this is big issue. Luthor just uses this knowledge against Batman and Superman but after Luthor is behind bars it is forgotten. He won't use this knowledge in future.

Lex Luthor not only is the father of Justice League. He also called Darkseid to Earth or something like that. He knows about Darkseid. If he knew Darkseid is coming why he wanted Superman out of the way if he is not on Darkseid's side. Nothing in Lex Luthor makes sense.

Batman V Superman starts with Bruce Wayne at ending of Man of Steel. We are shown the destruction from normal people's point of view. We see how destruction has consequences. This turns Batman against Superman. This movie ends with even worse destruction porn than Man of Steel had. At least they don't tear down half of the city this time. They forgot what they told at beginning of the movie.

Batman is against Superman because he thinks Superman can destroy mankind and he has to be stopped. When Batman is about to kill Superman he learns their mothers are named Martha. This stops Batman and he becomes Superman's best friend. Superman is no longer threat to mankind because his mother is named Martha. This really happened. If this is not enough Batman promises to save Superman's mother he knew nothing about before this in ten minutes he has.

Superman dies twice in this movie. First time he and Doomsday are nuked. He wakes up from that. Doomsday kills him second time but he doesn't wake up from that right away. He gets buried but something starts to happen to his casket. I really hated this. They killed Superman but it didn't have any impact because we know Warner Bros have announced upcoming DC Cinematic Universe movies and we can be sure Superman will be in Justice League movies. I hate this underestimating of audience. Nobody thinks he really died. It only felt stupid. From now on what stakes does Superman have? He has already died twice.

When people say Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was best part of the movie it is because her character was most consistent and didn't have these stupid moments. Some could say it is because she had so little screen time.

Batman V Superman was too long. There were scene which didn't bring anything other than show how dark and gritty everything was. Action scenes didn't tell story. They were just there. One action scene which could have had some story telling in it was cut away. I guess Batman fighting regular people doing their job was too much. The action scene could have showed how far Batman could go to stop Superman and maybe have some internal struggle.

There is rumor of over three hour rater R directors cut. I don't know what it could bring. Theatrical cut was already too long and at times boring.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daredevil - Season 2 (2016)

Daredevil and Jessica Jones were best Marvel Cinematic Universe had to offer last year. They gave us darker and smaller scale view to Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil's second season takes everything even further with Punisher and Elektra. Both kill in comics like it is nothing and both kill in this Netflix Original like it is nothing.

First season basically told one story from two point of views. One side it was Matt becoming Daredevil and other side it was Kingpin's rise and fall. This time it is two separate stories which happen to happen at same time. Punisher has own story arc and Elektra has own and story arcs are not really connected to each others. There are couple overlaps but both stories run on their own.

Punisher story gets first episodes. When Punisher story gets to next phase Elektra appears and characters get connected to one story or the other. Daredevil has part in both but others are in one or the other. This made following the stories easier. You knew what story arc was going on when you saw who was in screen.

Story continues where first season ended. At times I expected similar reset at the end but this season ends with kind of cliffhangers. It leave everyone at different place where they were at the start. First season was introduction. Second might have started longer story arch. It is not clear what since so many things were left open. There were some connections to Jessica Jones. Rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't have connections I could pick.

Second season of Daredevil is more of the same without doing the same thing again. My biggest issue was with cgi blood which looked terrible. I didn't understand why they had to use it so much. There were few minor issues but over all everything worked. Daredevil is probably best Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer this year. Luke Cage will have his own Netflix Original later this year which could be as good. Movie haven't been as good lately.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Robocop (2014)

Has remake of classic movie ever got good response from the audience? I can think few good remakes but you can argue if original was classic. Robocop certainly is classic. When you make remake of classic movie you can only lose. Even if your movie is good it can't live up to original which has inspired fans for ages.

Robocop remake is not a good movie but it didn't deserve hate it got. Fans of original will hate when they feel their beloved movie is ruined. Movie is average science fiction movie. It has Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton. Even they can't lift this above average. Without them this would be worse.

Remake follows original loosely. Most important beats are still there. This time they don't erase Alex Murphy's mind. Robocop is Alex Murphy. They erase his parts of his humanity only when they had no other choice or thinking other choice would have meant more work. Gary Oldman's character should have doubts on what they are doing but he erases pieces of Murphy's humanity without thinking too much. Other characters are even more one dimensional.

There is almost no character development. In original Peter Weller made Robocop human. This time Murphy doesn't feel human even before he becomes Robocop. This time humanity is only few seconds more reaction time compared to robots and something which make Robocop malfunctioning.

Movie has few good ideas but it doesn't use them like they didn't know what they got. Movie looked good and professional  but it lacked any soul. Murphy and Gary Oldman's character needed more character development. Now they just change when story requires. There is no internal struggle. They just change.

All this makes Robocop remake forgettable. There is nothing memorable. Few lines from the original feel out of place in remake.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kvesti on Movies videos will return next month

I kind of promised new short movie for this week but I spend last weekend doing this. This is first taste of new and improved Kvesti on Movies. I wanted to make it much more science fiction and put more effort on it. This means there won't be weekly videos. I start with monthly videos and check if I can do more when I have learned everything I need and got the concept together.

Current goal is to have first video published during April. There are still many things to do before video is ready but I am going there.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Extinction (2015)

Current zombie boom brings many new film makers to make zombie movies. Extinction is one of those movies which feel like movie makers are trying new genre. This time it is good thing. Extinction is more of drama of two men and girl living far from society than your regular zombie movies. Zombies are there to give reason why main characters live outside society and move story forward when needed.

Extinction is more art movie and drama than horror or action movie. Movie starts like regular Zombie film during zombie outbreak. Then it jumps nine years ahead when two men and girl live in village without connection to anyone else not even zombies. Two men worker together during opening scene. Nine years after they don't want to have anything to do with each others even though they live right next to each other.

Movie is not hurry to explain what has happened. This is where movie starts to drag. Cinematography is almost only value this parts offers. Nothing happens. It just establishes man with girl really don't like the other man and girl is not too happy to live only inside safety of the gates. After zombies appear we are explained what has happened during nine years we were not shown.

It is clear movie makers were not genre veterans. This gives movie art movie feeling and drama is more mature than your in average horror movies. I would be lying if I said I wasn't bored at times. Ending feels like we have seen this before. Extinction is art movie version of zombie movies. It is not great movie but worth checking if you can endure lack of anything happening during middle part.