Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) – Movie Review

The ultimate edition of BvS fixes the issue of a messy story and provides a more wholesome movie.

NOTE: This review is for the ULTIMATE EDITION of the movie, aka the director’s cut. I wont be going much into the details of the plot because it came out in March, this one is mostly a comparison of the theatrical and extended cuts of the film.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the most anticipated films of 2016, with hype building up among fans well before the release date.However there was a slight hiccup with the movie…it was a mess. I was excited to see the movie that the Warner Bros. executives had given a standing ovation to, but somehow I didn’t feel like that was the movie I got to see. Fast forward to summer and the release of the ultimate edition, I finally realized that the movie we all saw in theaters wasn’t the original movie, and this is one of the few cases (for me, at least) where the extended cut is the only version of this film I would watch.

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When it comes to the theatrical cut, I had positive things to say about the cinematography and I had gripes with certain story elements. I didn’t think that it was so horrible that it deserved a 27% on rotten tomatoes, and I hate that on the internet you’re only given the options to worship it or despise it. I thought it was “okay”, and my biggest problem was the poor editing, a choppy flow, messy story structure, and the fact that it was trying to accomplish so much in 2 and a half hours. To me, the worst kind of comic book films end up being the ones that are so concerned with expanding their universe (see: The Amazing Spiderman 2), and since this is only the 2nd film in the DC Cinematic Universe and they wanted to try and hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s popularity that was built up for 12 movies…its no wonder that BvS fell flat on its face at some point. Essentially, there were 5 different movies all jam-packed into one, and that let to discombobulation.

After really thinking about it and changing my rating about a billion times, I gave Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Theatrical Cut) a 5.5/10

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Since I really wanted to like this movie, I’m pleased to say that the ultimate edition definitely fixed this issue I had with the film. This version, simply put, felt like a wholesome movie. It wasn’t choppy anymore, it actually flowed, so many things that initially raised a question mark finally came full circle. Due to the nature of this review being comparative, I’m going to make it easy on my readers and talk about things via a list.
[SPOILERS BEGIN HERE]

1. Lex Luthor’s plan makes a little more sense: It was still extremely convoluted and complicated, but that’s how Luthor is supposed to be. There were some scenes added where other characters uncover secrets and Luthor’s motivations/activity become clear.

2. Superman is more likable: We get scenes of Clark Kent being an actual reporter, we get to see him unravel the mystery of Batman all for himself and reach the point where he starts to view Bruce as the villain. Basically, we got the other side of this story in the extended cut instead of seeing more Batman than Superman.

3. Lois Lane isn’t as annoying: She gets a purpose in the extended cut similar to Clark doing his research on Batman, except she’s doing her research and uncovering things about Luthor. It doesn’t feel like she’s there because she “has to be” or because of the star power of Amy Adams.

4. Arkham Asylum: I still have no idea why they couldn’t just put this in the theatrical cut, it would’ve been an extra 20 seconds that would’ve been a cool name-drop. Basically Batman visits Luthor in his cell (my stars, what a scene) and Luthor still feels accomplished and that nothing will happen to him. That’s when Batman drops the bomb that he’s being transferred to Arkham Asylum and the shrewd smile from Luthor’s face vanishes. It was awesome.

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Despite this huge issue of horrible story flow being fixed, here’s what didn’t change that I didn’t like. Less detail will be given here because these are still the same complaints from the theatrical cut, but you can always ask me for specifics outside this review!

  1. Jesse Eisenberg….what are you doing? I’ve heard a lot of people try to defend this one, I just can’t get behind it. I’m all for different interpretations of a character, but it just didn’t work in this case.
  2. Wonder Woman is still a tacked-on part of the movie. I really would’ve loved it if she had more screen time.
  3. Someone had to have realized that certain references they were trying to make weren’t going to stick. Look, I know what a motherbox is and I know that Darkseid is the future villain of the DCCU. That doesn’t mean everyone is going to know these things when you shoehorn them into the film. Despite the now 3 hour run time, its STILL too much content for one movie.
  4. The Justice League is revealed because of an email. This might be the laziest way to introduce a future part of a cinematic universe that I’ve ever seen.
  5. Unfortunately, the 30 minutes that were cut didn’t include any of the fight scene. Its still only an 8-minute fight with sub par action. Batman beating up the goons in the warehouse is still the best part of the movie when you only take action into account.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) is an improvement, and gets a 6.5/10
For fun, here’s how the other two studio’s comic book films of the summer ranked for me:
1st Place – Captain America: Civil War, 9/10
2nd Place – This movie
3rd Place – X-men: Apocalypse, 5.5/10

Those are my final thoughts on BvS, as always I’d really appreciate shares, followers, likes, dislikes, discussion, etc.
That’s all for now,
Soggz out!

Batman: The Killing Joke – Movie Review

The Killing Joke only gets to the anticipated source material after an unnecessary tacked-on “prologue” and messy transition. Fortunately, the memorable pages of the graphic novel are brought to life and presented well.

The highly anticipated animated adaptation of the popular graphic novel is finally here! Unfortunately, it also came with a few issues that left me feeling pretty conflicted. For those of you who don’t know, “Batman: The Killing Joke” is a one-shot by Alan Moore that ended up being so popular that many adaptations of Batman consider the events official canon. It is the exploration of how the Caped Crusader can’t be defined without his greatest enemy, and the analysis that they are two sides of the same coin. Its your typical “we’re not so different, you and I” trope between the detective and serial killer, and its done extremely well. The story also serves as the Joker’s backstory, where readers actually end up feeling somewhat sorry for the guy.

Since the graphic novel isn’t very long, more content had to be added in order to make this a 90-minute movie. The turning point of the story features Barbara Gordon, aka the Batgirl and daughter to Commissioner Gordon. Due to this major event, it was decided to add more content that featured Batgirl to the movie. It becomes obvious that the purpose of this “prologue” was to establish her important relationship to Batman, so that when “the thing” happens, the tension is higher. So what kind of tension did the writers decide to go for?…the easiest one to write that also ends up being the most frustrating one…sexual tension. Here we go…
[SPOILERS START HERE]

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Just to get the easy stuff out of the way first, the actual “Killing Joke” part of the movie was great. The artwork, music, and voice acting (Conroy, Hamill, and Strong did exactly what you’d expect) all helped bring this sadistic story to life. The Joker’s song that he performs while Gordon is going through the ride was absolutely fantastic, and was genuinely eerie.

So lets dive in to what disappointed. This whole “prologue” part felt like a lifetime drama, and Barbara’s dialogue might as well have been “Senpai, notice me please!” Basically, Batgirl messes up, Batman fixes it and scolds her, Batgirl vents to her gay coworker about an older man she’s “seeing”, Batgirl tries to fight villain, horrible villain does something stupid, repeat about three times. This wasn’t a Father-Daughter relationship, this wasn’t a relationship between partners, this wasn’t a teacher-student relationship. Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider it a romantic relationship. The closeness of the two characters is established when they bang and have some typical “I’m Batman” dialogue from Bruce that later serves as the transition to get him to confront the Joker (this was also handled poorly, connecting those dots was a stretch).

But here’s my real problem with it. Before I move on, let me just say that as a straight male, tackling this part of the review might be a tough area, but i’m doing it anyway. (If any of this is offensive or insensitive, PLEASE message me and I will clean it up right away).the-killing-joke-animated-movie-barbara-gordon-batgirlBatgirl is somewhat demeaned in this story. It seems like her purpose in the movie is to be hyper-sexualized and fetishized to the point where it becomes a little ridiculous. We get this villain that keeps making sexual advances at Batgirl, and Batman deems him “too dangerous” for her because of this. Seriously, this guy’s entire identity as a villain is that he’s horny for Batgirl, and she’s shown as visibly affected by it. The Batgirl I know could kick this guy to Bludhaven and back, no problem. This is a girl that has spent her whole life experiencing her POLICE COMMISSIONER FATHER dealing with criminals that are much worse, so this shouldn’t have been a problem. Furthermore, why did the villain need to be like this? We could’ve just as easily had a villain instead maybe, oh I don’t know, threaten her Dad who’s a public figure? That’s enough motivation for a female character to want to bring someone to justice that doesn’t involve the creepy villain fantasizing about her constantly, right?

Look, all we needed were awesome scenes with Batman and Batgirl as partners kicking butt and taking names together , and if you really wanted to go the romantic route maybe throw in a scene where there is mutual interest and affection. What we got was Batgirl as a love-struck teenybopper with the most irrational “overly attached girlfriend” complex, and that’s pretty insulting to her character and to her fans. Conflict happens with Batman and his partners, but why is it that Jason Todd got “conflict of ideology regarding the justice system” whereas Batgirl gets “I have a crush on you”, despite her being older than the male characters who have been Robin? Its especially hard to believe that the girl that ends up as Oracle, Batman’s right-hand technology genius, is reduced to this level of immaturity. At one point in this movie, Batman LITERALLY says “We’re not equals”. I get that he probably didn’t mean it in a “Man vs Woman” context, but why is Batgirl getting treated so badly only to get paralyzed by the Joker anyway?

I really wish they did this differently. I really wish we were shown how well the two work together and their chemistry, with subtle hints on how they feel about each other. That would’ve made it even more devastating when she gets shot by the Joker. Showing Batgirl constantly complaining and Batman as the stern voice of reason, then showing them having sex was poor execution and, in my opinion, very insulting to her character.

Batman: The Killing Joke gets a 6.5/10
Reviewed Rating: 5.5/10

Those are my thoughts on The Killing Joke. Please let me know what you think, I welcome discussion and would love to hear what others have to say.
That’s all for now,
Soggz Out!

Pilot

Holy first blog post, Batman!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Soggz Blogs, a blog for nerds written by a nerd. My name is Sagar Kamnani, and I’ve started this page because one of my favorite things to do is to talk about geeky things. Admittedly it was tough to write throughout college, but I took some time off and here I am ready to bring you opinions and thoughts about movies, TV, video games, etc.

A little bit about me: When I was younger, I wasn’t exactly the best at making friends. To a lonely kid, the best company was coming home right after school to watch what shenanigans my favorite characters were getting up to that day. Batman Beyond, Digimon, Pokemon, Spongebob, etc. was all I really had to help me understand the world. Fast forward through my adolescence and to my 18th birthday, and superhero stories were still my escape. I finally read my first comic book (The Killing Joke, in case you were wondering) and drowned myself in more hero stories to help me adjust to my first year in college. Another fast forward to 21, and the best part of my year was attending the red-carpet premier of “Captain America: Civil War” thanks to a friend of mine who thought of inviting me. My love of these things comes from a very real place, nerd culture is a huge part of my own personal story, and has helped me through the toughest of times!

On this blog, you can mostly expect reviews. Occasionally, I’ll also do opinion posts and “what if” story edits of already released content. I greatly appreciate support of any kind, and I guess we’ll see how far this goes!

That’s all for now,
Soggz Out!