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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
182 min. (‘Ultimate Edition’)
151 min. (Theatrical)
Very mild spoilers ahead.
I had no interest in this movie until the bad reviews started rolling in, and rolling in hard. My favorite Batman movie has an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, so a new one sitting comfortably at 27% with critics seemed like it could be way up my alley.
But then, audiences started digging it. (To date, it currently sits at 65% with them.) And that didn’t bode well. ‘Divisive’ is not what I look for in a superhero movie—‘universally-panned’ is. This formula doesn’t always work out—Catwoman really is that bad—but it has lead me to some gems, such as the modern body horror masterpiece Fantastic Four from last year; Shaquille O’Neal’s charming, homegrown-vibed Steel; and of course, the afore-alluded to Batman & Robin, which I loved when I saw as a kid, then instantly hated on after I left the theater because everyone else was hating on it, then finally re-watched a year ago and realized that my initial assessment of it as great was spot-on and I never should’ve kowtowed to something as philistinic as popular opinion.
The Lords of Salem (2013)
Written & Directed by Rob Zombie
If there’s one movie trend I can totally get behind, it’s the “B Movie Love Letter”. It’s almost its own genre at this point. Recent examples include Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, Wright and Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (and their upcoming The World’s End), Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained (really his whole catalogue), Ti West’s House of the Devil, Lexi Alexander’s Punisher: War Zone, and Peter Travis’ Dredd. And Star Wars and Indiana Jones are some not so recent examples. These filmmakers mine their inspirations for their best aspects and transplant them into modern productions—which are almost inevitably better than the movies they pay homage to, as the ‘originals’ were often made quickly and on the cheap just to provide cheap thrills and make a buck or two. Dredd was much talked about last year, and I’m hoping The Lords of Salem gets similar attention this year, because it’s even more fun.