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.
Continue reading Cody Clarke v ‘Batman v Superman’
Recently, WB announced their slate of superhero movies through 2019, perpetuating this ridiculous genre for another endless cycle. A lot of very smart people have been persistent in drawing an analogy about this, saying that for its longevity and frivolity, the superhero genre is the new western. As a lover of westerns and a hater of superhero movies, I gotta step in here.
I get the facile rationale—both are ‘low’ genres that occupy a disproportionately large space in the cinematic marketplace; both are marketed at American adolescent boys; both are concerned with matters of good and evil solved through third act duels. But in the words of Matt Zoller Seitz: “Where’s Ford and Leone?”
Continue reading Superhero Flicks Are Not Our New Westerns
In my earliest Smug Film piece, I reviewed a movie called ATM and introduced this idea of ‘Roomies’—movies where the characters are trapped in some kind of room and the whole point is figuring out why they’re there and how to get out. Exam, The Breakfast Club, and Cube are some popular examples. Now I’m going to introduce you to Twisties, which have become quite prevalent lately.
I saw the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion in the theater by myself. I like going to the movies by myself. It’s cool. There’s something about being by yourself in the grandeur of the theater that always reminds me how much I want to make movies.
Continue reading Twisties: Why ‘Oblivion’ And Many Other Movies These Days Suck