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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Batman V. Superman (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Zack Snyder

Starring:
Ben Affleck/Batman
Henry Cavill/Superman
Amy Adams/Lois
Jesse Eisenberg/Lex
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Years after Superman and Zod threw down and took out half of Metropolis in the process; humans are weary of Superman (Henry Cavill). And one particular citizen, a man with a thing for Bats (Ben Affleck), truly takes issue with his existence and seeks out to give him a beat down. That's until a larger threat arises and brings them together!
THE LOWDOWN

NOTE: As I had said, I went to see the movie again, with my expectations now out of the way. And what was once a 6 on 10, has now become an 8 on 10. Yup, dug it wayyyyyy more the second time around. Here is why!

BATMAN V SUPERMAN is FINALLY here and before I dive in, let me give you an idea of where I am coming from as a film-goer. For starters, I’m a huge Zach Snyder fan and I’ve pretty much enjoyed all of his movies (yes, even Sucker Punch). On that, “Costner meets a tornado bit aside” I was completely blown away by Snyder’s 2013 take on Superman via MAN OF STEEL and to this day, not only do I prefer the latter to every Marvel superhero flick that has been released thus far (yes, even more than my fav Marvel opus CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER), it is also my second favorite Superman movie right after RICHARD DONNER’S 1978 SUPERMAN THE MOVIE.

Now when the negative BATMAN V. SUPERMAN reviews started coming out of the woodwork, I wasn’t too concerned. I mean the same thing somewhat happened with MAN OF STEEL. For some reason, people seem to be harder on Zach Snyder than your average director - I never understood WHY to be honest. Dude's style f-ing owns! Question is; now that I’ve seen the film (twice) for myself, do I agree with said bad mouthing about it? Slap on your cape, slip on your your tights and FOLLOW ME! When this flick was announced the first thing that came out of my yapper was “That sucks, all I wanted was a MAN OF STEEL sequel”. And I still stand by that. I think that it was too soon for BATMAN V SUPERMAN and beyond too early to even talk about a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie! I would have let Superman find his groove, let the other heroes get their own films, see how those go…and THEN, maybe… do JUSTICE LEAGUE. I mean, raking in the dough aside, THE AVENGERS is the worst thing to happen to Marvel films in my opinion. I personally don’t need 30 superheroes in every f*cking movie. It’s overkill yo!

If there's one thing that I appreciated even more on my second watch of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN was just how ambitious the film was. Think about it! It was a Man of Steel sequel, a new Batman movie and a set up for Justice League all at once! I respect the big bulldog balls on Snyder to even show up for this battle in the first place – and he gets even more kudos for delivering a quasi film noir, one that explored the grey zones of evil, sported a theoligical streak and that was way more existential than your typical Super Hero movie. This flick was deep yo and on my second round, I got to take that in further and esteeem it more! The casting was bang on as well! Ben Affleck made for a badass Bruce Wayne and a killer Batman (Loved Bat’s mean streak and the "horror/scary" way they handled him at times– Branding? I'm in!). The Fleck was jacked up beyond recognition and brought the right amount of intensity to the proceedings. He had “violence” in his eyes, was obvioulsy scarred by the death of his parents and definitely echoed the Batman found in Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURN (right down to the two sleek Bat-suits - normal and metal armored). Loved him and I can’t wait for his solo films! On his end, although the film didn’t give him enough to do, Henry Cavill (who got even more muscle mass on him this time around - you go boy) once again made for an affable Superman. In this entry though Supes was on a downer cause the people of earth pulled what the people of earth always pull: hate what they fear and I felt for him big time. Poor basterd...

The supporting cast (Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter etc.) fared just as well with Gal Gadot standing out the most as a mystery woman who winds up being… “you know whom” (being vague for that ONE person who doesn’t know yet). She really has the right stuff for the role and I am now stoked for her impending stand alone adventure! In terms of aesthetics; Snyder gunned out a handful of visceral, poetic and visually striking scenes with my favorite being the way he conveyed the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. They brought up that scene twice in the film and backed up by Zimmer’s powerful score (my fav piece from the soundtrack - Beautiful Lie) it actually brought tears to my eye. Snyder handled the action scenes admirably too (no big surprise there) with the highlights for this jerk being: the Batman vs thugs in warehouse bit and the Batman takes on Supes mano et mano get-down. Finally, the set/costume design were astounding, the last hour or so of the movie went buck nuts in the wam-bam department (with action bits that went from great to okay), the hints at the Justice League characters to come were enticing (Jason Momoa! Nough said.), I loved the sly jabs at the Man of Steel collateral damage haters by having a character go out of his/her way to mention that it is “unpopulated” where the boys are fighting (well played) and I caught more homages the second time  (like a wink to the famous Pieta sculpture for example). It was just a FULLER experience for me this second time.

Alas; on a story level there's was an occasional choppy feel to the narrative progression (i.e. Studio edit, I was confused first time I saw it, I got it the second time though) and we still got too many dream sequences (the Costner one was so out of place but the Steam Punk Batman scene was dope as f*ck though - creative and wild), murky character motivations, one instant of characters knowing things they shouldn’t know for the sole reason that the audience knows it and time spent on the wrong things. More about the Clark and Lois love story as opposed to time spent on that freaking "special bullet" subplot would have been swell. And was it me or did Superman not fly enough here? I missed the wonder I got out of seeing him soar in Man of Steel. And as I had feared via the trailers, I hated Lex Luthor and Jesse Eisenberg’s twitchy, Adderall-lacking and overacting take on the character. And to make matters worse, his "plan" was farfetched and we spent wayyy too much time with him. He was actually my biggest gripe with the flick. Now that I think of it; I’m so sick of them bringing up Luthor in every Superman related film. F*ck Luthor in movies! He’s BORING, so focus on new villains please (and no the generic "Hulk Smash" Doomsdays wasn't the right choice IMO, not interesting enough)!

So there you have it SuperBoys and Bat-Girls! Talk about a turn around for me. Talk about a turn around for me. But you know what? I'm not too surprised. Often enough the more ambitious a film, the harder it is to digest off the bat. It took two sittings for this a-hole to see things clearly. I am hoping that the R Rated cut of this one with that half hour of extra footage may fix some of the problems that I had with this version of the picture. CAN'T WAIT!

GORE
We get some blood, stabbings, burns and bullet wounds. I can't wait for that R Rated version!
T & A
We get Cal Gadot looking fine in that skimpy outfit of hers, Amy Adams naked in a tub while the ladies and gay dudes get buff Affleck and Cavill shirtless.
BOTTOM LINE
BATMAN V SUPERMAN pimped out a stellar Batman/Bruce Wayne in Ben Affleck, a morose Superman that I just wanted to hug, intense action scenes, all kinds of noir-ish/poetic visuals, stellar costume/set designs and yet another potent Zimmer score. What it showed me of Justice League thus far looked promising and to say that Wonder Woman owned that shit would be an understatement. It was also a mucho ambitious (specially for a superhero flick) in terms of its themes and its existential/theological meat. Unfortunately, the story was choppy at times due to the edit (I fully got the story on my second watch though), had too many dream sequences (Costner one was meh) and focused on things I didn't care about too often. We had one moment of peeps knowing shite they shouldn't know to serve the plot, Luthor was a grating nut with too much screen time and witnessing more development in terms of Clark and Lois or even getting more Superman action would have been groovy. On the whole though, coming from a guy (me BTW) that enjoyed lots of the Marvel movies but was rarely marked by them (meaning they didn't stay with me, Winter Soldier aside that is) Batman v Superman gave me lots to chew on and its mix of auteur flick meets blockbuster fascinated the shit out of me.
BULL'S EYE
Ben Affleck asked Christian Bale for any Batman advice. Bale told him to "make sure you can piss in that suit."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was considered to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. He wound up playing Wayne's dad instead.

They considered Timothy Dalton to play Alfred Pennyworth.

You guys notice that "He's kind of hot" Farris (Christina Wren) from Man of Steel showed up here?
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+0
5:02PM on 03/30/2016
The movie had moments that I enjoyed, But I can't say I enjoyed the writing or pacing. It felt more in tone with Watchmen, which was a great film.
The movie had moments that I enjoyed, But I can't say I enjoyed the writing or pacing. It felt more in tone with Watchmen, which was a great film.
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-1
12:29AM on 03/30/2016

Turnaround's a go!

Thanks Arrow for amending your thoughts and for stating so well all that I loved in this. Can't wait for further DC Universe treats.
Thanks Arrow for amending your thoughts and for stating so well all that I loved in this. Can't wait for further DC Universe treats.
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5:40PM on 03/29/2016
I pretty much agree with you about everything except I enjoyed Einbergs portrayal of Lex Luthor. It was a different way to have him but it was refreshing and fun to watch. Great flick!
I pretty much agree with you about everything except I enjoyed Einbergs portrayal of Lex Luthor. It was a different way to have him but it was refreshing and fun to watch. Great flick!
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+0
4:18PM on 03/29/2016
I dig the movie but Boy, the threw everything but the kitchen sink at the audience. The introduction of Batman and Wonder Woman, a glimpse at the Justice League, Doomsday, teasing the coming of Apocalypse and a pissed off Superman (seemingly right out of the pages of Injustice:Gods among us) and they closed the movie with yet another very popular Superman storyline. That was pretty much Overkill!
I dig the movie but Boy, the threw everything but the kitchen sink at the audience. The introduction of Batman and Wonder Woman, a glimpse at the Justice League, Doomsday, teasing the coming of Apocalypse and a pissed off Superman (seemingly right out of the pages of Injustice:Gods among us) and they closed the movie with yet another very popular Superman storyline. That was pretty much Overkill!
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7:33PM on 03/27/2016
I think the use of Doomsday in the movie is pretty clever.
I think the use of Doomsday in the movie is pretty clever.
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12:49PM on 03/26/2016
I don't get the complaints for Doomsday in this movie. He's a beast in the comics that doesn't talk and creates carnage, that's pretty much it. You can't have a full movie dedicated towards him as the villain for these reasons, so how else are you supposed to incorporate him? He served his purpose in this film.
I don't get the complaints for Doomsday in this movie. He's a beast in the comics that doesn't talk and creates carnage, that's pretty much it. You can't have a full movie dedicated towards him as the villain for these reasons, so how else are you supposed to incorporate him? He served his purpose in this film.
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