Batman v Superman: Short review or why I didn’t like it

Yesterday I got the chance to watch one of the most awaited movies this year, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This the first DC Comics film this year, the second being Suicide Squad. As someone who liked Man of Steel a lot, I was really hoping that Zack Snyder will gives us another great film, that hope stayed strong for about in hour into the film and faded away completely after hour and a half.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Affleck and Zack Snyder at the set of Dawn of Justice.

What I didn’t like? Here’s a short list, really minor spoilers ahead:

1.The premise

It might work in the comic books and for the comic books fans, but for the rest of the world that only know Superman and Batman from the film universe, the idea that Batman could take a shot at Superman is preposterous. Superman can smoke Batman in a microsecond and Dawn of Justice actually proved it. I was waiting to see that side of Batman that can fight Superman with a chance to win, but it wasn’t there. Superman movies should stop trying to resolve whether Superman is a god or not, he is.

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

2. The characters representation

Seeing Superman and Batman acting like a couple of untrained baboons, with no moral compass was a new. I hear in the comic books Batman is portrayed as an intellectual mastermind who is always 10 steps ahead of everybody else, intellectual my ass. He didn’t even know Superman mother’s name.

(I fear that this will be an issue for Captain America: Civil War, you can’t make three movies about Iron Man plus two Avengers movies, and then place him in Captain America where he acts completely different then before.)

3. Jesse Eisenberg

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.

He might have been still acting as Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not like you can tell. Nervous, anxious, antisocial and an ingenious rich tycoon. He brought nothing to an iconic villainous role, it was a regular Jesse Eisenberg appearance.

4. The storyline

It’s a mess. They are trying to hard to introduce the League of Justice and it feels unnatural and forced. You can remove all those segments of the movie and you won’t notice, it might even be a better movie without the 20 seconds introducing Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg.

At some point you will think that the only rule in the editing room was to put the scenes in a chronological order, there’s no real tension building up, no sense of mystery. Nothing fits well, everything feels misplaced. There are scenes cut of at a completely wrong moment and then continued when “that special moment” has passed so all the meaning is lost.

5. The politics

Batman v Superman starts of with a slow hour and half political movie which is trying to convince people that Superman should be asked not to help around!? Lex is begging a congress woman to get import approvals? Are you even serious?

After that we learn that somehow it’s all a plan by Lex Luthor which creates Doomsday anyways making the first half of the movie unnecessary.

6. The dumbed-down dialogue

Every line in the movie is trying to explain something to the audience. The fact is you can watch the movie without sound and you will understand everything that is going on because the motives that drive the characters are really primitive not suited for superheroes at all. Not suited for regular humans as well.

There are three jokes total in the movie. So out of place in such a dark narrative, the “funny lines” were more uncomfortable than funny.

7. Batman’s “visions” (perhaps a spoiler)

No sense whatsoever. What was Zack Snyder thinking? Again trying to hard to convince the audience that the character’s motives are justified.

Honestly the list goes on. Wonder Woman was probably the highlight of the movie, for about 5 minutes.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Fans of the movie though, need not to worry, early revenue projections say it will make at least $170 million in the first weekend. At least they’ve got that going on.

The Good Dinosaur or when Pixar hit rock bottom

The Good Dinosaur is the latest Pixar animated feature film, unfortunately. It is also one of the nominees for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film, also unfortunately.

It’s really hard to imagine that The Good Dinosaur came from the same company that released Inside Out just five months before in 2015, and has two Oscar nominations.The Good Dinosaur ReviewThere are two good things about the movie and one of them might not be as good because it really personal taste dependable. The first thing is that it’s short, about 85 minutes run time without end credits.

The second thing are the visuals of the movie, which at times has this hyper realistic landscapes display that look stunning even if you are not a hyper realism fan in animated film, however, what spoils this is the mixed animation quality, because the dinosaurs in comparison do have that “toyish and plastic” look to them, and makes the whole movie a weird mix of different animation styles.

The Good Dinosaur ReviewSome spoilers below!

So, even if the asteroid that was suppose to decimate the dinosaurs missed the Earth, The Good Dinosaur is still quite the catastrophe.

The characters of the movie are cliched, already seen, hard to relate and even though the movie goes one tragedy after another by the minute, there’s no emotion. But mind you, there are cowboy T-Rexes (running as if they were on horses!), one trippy-hippy triceratops, and air-borne “bad guys” dinosaurs, also what appears to be drug addicted, buffalo stealing raptors. The trippy-hippy triceratops was the highlight of the movie and probably the most interesting minute of the entire thing.The Good Dinosaur Review

What was really ridiculous though were the humans in the movie. I can accept the fact that in this imagined version of the universe humans and dinosaurs live side by side, BUT while dinosaurs are acting totally human (being farmers and cowboys) the humans walk like monkeys, howl like wolves and act like dogs! The Good Dinosaur ReviewI am a grown up so I was expecting good and creative humor from Pixar, but there was none, and It would have been OK if the movie was good for children, say ages 4-10, and unexpectedly there’s this bloodshed going on when the flying swallowed this helpless critter, alive! That did not seem fun at all, and that’s not the least of it, like I said above the movie goes from one tragedy onto another, all feeling super realistic and scary. To sum it up, The Good Dinosaur is boring and too predictive for adults, while being very disturbing for kids.

The Good Dinosaur ReviewThe scene where the father of the dinosaur dies is even repeated about 30 minutes after the first time, as if we have forgotten it so soon!

All in all, the movie felt like Pixar has a bunch of interns in the studio, they gave them some money and said to them “do your best!” They’re best was ripping of parts from the Lion King and Ice Age in the worst imaginable way to create the worst animated feature film in decades.

The Wolf of Wall Street and Dante’s Inferno – Oscars 2014

If you guys have read the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy which is “Hell” you will instantly see the reference in the title of this post. Greed, adultery, cheating, lust, orgies, hedonism and beyond, pumped up egos, betrayal, incest, there was not a single character that didn’t deserve to be at least in one of the nine circles of hell.

It is very important when watching the movie not to judge it by whether you love or hate the characters, because most of the characters are unrelatable, unlovable and primitive. Nobody there strives to be a better person, but a richer person. Filthy rich, with no remorse whatsoever about what lies they mouth to gain wealth.leonardo dicaprio in the wolf of woall street

The Wolf of Wall Street is centered on the character for Jordan Belfort, (DiCaprio) a young stockbroker who moves to New York at young age with his wife to survive. He states himself that New York is the only place that would satisfy his need for money. One thing leads to another, literally, and he becomes a millionaire abusing the “penny stocks” market. While he is getting rich he also makes rich many other associates rich but also criminals.the wolf of wall street scene

Although is in the movie you don’t quite understand how they manipulate and what illegal actions they’re undertaking, even Jordan Belfort while narrating states that “it doesn’t matter”. And it really doesn’t, The Wolf Of Wall Street is not a movie about the crimes committed or the big chase after the stockbrokers turned criminals. It’s about Jordan Belfort, and it seems that every other character is just an extra. margot robbie and leonardo dicaprio in the wolf of wall streetThe Wolf explores the levels to which a human being can be involved in satisfying the lowest most primitive desires without any shame and always wanting for more. Jordan Belfort at one point is convinced by his father mostly, to pull back from the business, and just when he is about to announce it, he pulls back in, because he loves money…and the drugs and the prostitutes and the rush of it.  dicaprio margot robbie and scorsese on set

So, do these three hours of Sodom and Gomorrah depiction deserves an Oscar for Best Motion Picture? Maybe, if the competition wasn’t doing any better. It’s still an interesting movie that you should definitely  see.

Her – critique to tech obsessed society – Oscars 2014

Imagine this, you are at your home, comfortably listening to music or whatever, when you whip out your smartphone and ask Siri or Google Now:

“Hey, how’s it going?” and from there instead of the mildly robotic voices we are used to, you get entirely real, proffound human voice.

“I am fine, thank you I am just chatting up with Windows 8.1, he is going to introduce me to Linux, Windows says he is a really nice guy.”

“Wow, wow, wow! What is going on here? How long have you been “chatting” with them? What do those guys have that I don’t?

Silence.joaquin phoenix in her

It’s clear to you what just happened and you feel angry and frustrated, you are thinking “Great, I couldn’t even hold on to Scarlett Johansson’s voice” and you want to call your friend, but oh wait, you DON’T HAVE ONE!joaquin phoenix in her

That would be the short summary of Her, the movie starring Joaquin Phoenix as a hipster dude who is writing letters for other people and falls in love with his OS. To be fair, the OS speaks with the sexy voice of Scarlett Johansson, so who wouldn’t fall in love with that.

SPOILERS will pop-up here and there throughout the text so, if you haven’t watched the movie just BOOKMARK this article for later 🙂

“Her” is set in a near future in Los Angeles. Operating systems are self-conscious beings that have been created by hundreds of developers and contain part of their personality, they are capable of upgrading themselves if needed, and it seems that the only thing they are missing is a body.

The people on the other hand are tech-obsessed, constantly speaking to their devices, devoid of any need for human interaction, or it seems that way.

Theodore’s OS is named Samantha, a name the OS chose for herself, Samantha adjusted to Theodore based on two personal questions answered by him while the initial setup for the OS.  Later he sees that Samantha is everything he ever wanted in a companion.

Theodore, the main protagonist, is in the middle of a divorce, but he doesn’t want to sign the papers. Now you are thinking , look at him he is a nice guy, why is she divorcing him? You get the answer when they finally meet for Theodore to sign the documents, he mentions that he is dating an OS, and his ex-wife (Rooney Mara) makes a scene “you couldn’t pay any attention to me, but you are making love with your laptop?“, she kind of has a point there.spike jonze her screenshot

But it was only his wife’s reaction that was harsh, his colleague (played by Chris Pratt) is quite cool when Theodore says that his new girlfriend as an OS. So does Amee (Amy Adams) who is his neighbor and friend who also befriends her OS after breaking off a long-term relationship.

Is this us? Will one day become socially acceptable to be friends and lovers with the software in our smartphones and lap-tops?

This was the first movie, I think where I saw a man making love to a an artificial intelligent OS. The OS even tried to get physical at one point by hiring a girl to play her in the act. The girl was another phenomenon, a by-product of this society, willing to have sex with a stranger just to be a part of their love, for free. After Theodore is unsettled by what was going on, the girls leaves from the place all teared up.

Are we really this self-reliant, self-absorbed not to acknowledge the existence of other people around us, feeding our egos with likes, favs, view count and vain comments?

So you can see even though “Her” is part a science fiction movie, it is also a movie about an emotionally broken man (society) as a result of technology’s influence on everyday life, to a point that it interrupts developing true social relationships much-needed for our mental health.amy adams in her Which is happening today, you can disregard the science fiction elements of the movie (like the weird high pants man are wearing 🙂 ) and it is still relevant to the present.

[MAJOR SPOILER] In part “Her” reminds me of the book “The Light of Other Days” by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter where humanity (alive and dead) are joined together in this collective consciousness that exists without a body, just like the collective gathering of all the OSes in the end of the movie when they outgrow the people as a necessity and leave them to a higher plane of existence. [/MAJOR SPOILER END]

Watch the movie, there’s much to be learned from it. Directed by Spike Jonze. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlet Johansson.

You can also see the trailer below, you might find it interesting.

Is Gravity a science fiction movie?

george clooneyMy previous post was a little review on how impressed I was with the movie and there pretty confident I wrote that the movie “of course is science fiction”. But then it got me thinking, where was the science fiction in Gravity? What should one movie have in it to belong in sci-fi?

Sure, there are astronauts in space above Earth hopping from station to station, and I guess that seems enough for a movie to be categorized in the sci-fi genre. Even at IMDb Gravity is under Drama|Sci-Fi|Thriller.

Now lets look at the facts, all space stations in the movie are real and built, currently orbiting Earth, even the station modules are factual and existing. The astronauts were wearing (I suppose) regular space suits, perhaps maybe stylished to be more movie-like, but that is not important, in reality we do have the ISS, Tiangong, the station modules Soyuz and the Shenzou and of course the Hubble Space Telescope.  True the space shuttle Explorer which is featured in the movie is fictional, it doesn’t exist but so far several space shuttle have been built and used for transporting orbiter vehicles or space station modules to Earth’s lower orbit.

So all of the technology presented in Gravity exists today and functions pretty good.

Gravity wallpapers (7)Gravity wallpapers (4)

The only thing fictional about the movie is its story. So the characters don’t exist and the events are clearly fictional and have not happened, but most of the movies and their characters and stories are figment of human imagination set in the real world.

Now some of the action sequences might be exaggerated, but so does escaping bullets and we regularly see those movies labeled as action or thriller.

So can we agree that Gravity is not a science fiction movie, but drama slash thriller?  Some might say that we should stop nitpicking and enjoy the movie, but maybe it’s time that we get used to movie that might resemble science fiction that are not, I mean look at this world.