There’s no secret that the DC movies have all been met with some pretty harsh criticism. I have also voiced my distaste in the past. However, after seeing Aquaman, my expectations were exceeded.
I went into it with both my kids thinking that it would be bad effects, dialogue and just lacking in story with major plot holes. Boy was I wrong.
The special effects were fantastic, and while there were a few parts that looked off, the majority of the film was seamless. The story did a great job of telling the heroes and villains’ pasts and set up not just a great origin tale, but addition to the existing dc universe. Acting was on par with the entire cast and dialogue (although a bit cheesy in parts) was acceptable.
The addition of humor made this feel like a Marvel movie in many aspects, because it worked. There were a couple places that felt too over the top as though they tried too hard to get the humor in there. Then there is one scene where Pittbull’s version of Toto’s Africa song began playing and I became confused as to why they chose this. It didn’t fit the scene and his cover of the song was horrendous…
Overall I (and my kids) enjoyed the movie, and look forward to more in this universe. I actually will go so far as saying that it was better than Wonder Woman (which until this point was my favorite DC film), it was better than Antman and the Wasp, and I will dare to say I think it is even better than Black Panther (which is very high on my rewatchability list).
I give it 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think? Did you love or hate the movie or find it just alright? Be sure to comment below.
Review: Justice League
I’ll give you a heads up now. There will be some spoilers in this review, but I will try to keep it to a minimum. If you’d like my rating of the movie without all the intricacies you can scroll down to the final paragraph.
Justice League has finally happened, but the reception is once again split down the middle. DC and Warner Brothers are having a rough streak at keeping the audiences happy overall. I could get into why, but perhaps that’s another article. Here’s what I can say…
This movie will make longtime fans of the characters happy. For those who look at plot and effects, well that may be a different story. Here’s a brief character breakdown:
Batman: Affleck looks tired in the role. Perhaps part of what the negativity is comes from him. I still think he’s a great batman and Bruce Wayne, but there’s no passion in the actor’s eyes. That being said, Batman was very enjoyable and seems to have been set up to eventually phase into either an Alfred like role for the team or being replaced by perhaps Dick Grayson at some point under the cowl.
Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot rocks the role again, and she really is the glue to this whole team. I feel they could have used her more in the film, but there’s only so much you can do with this many characters in a two hour movie.
The Flash: I was very skeptical about the casting of Ezra Miller in this part. He doesn’t look like the Barry Allen that fans have come to know, and the one on TV has been prominent in everyone’s minds. From the second he took to the screen however, I was pleasantly surprised. I hate his suit with a passion. For a character that can run at super speeds, you’d think it’d be more aerodynamic and uniform. This looks like a machine more than something a hero would wear. Other than that, I think he is portrayed quite well in the movie as an up and coming hero.
Cyborg: If it weren’t for the horrible CGI on him, I really think he’d have been great. Unfortunately because he is hard to look at at times, and there is not much about him learning each of his upgrades, it’s difficult to enjoy the time he’s on screen.
Aquaman: This is another casting that I thought was strange, but am completely on board with now. He is easily one of the best things about the movie. Like Wonder Woman, he has limited screen time, but I think he was presented well as far as quickly learning back story. He brings quite a bit of humor and badassery to the plot. I also like how they mention it isn’t the fish he talks to, but the water itself. This actually makes a lot more sense.
Superman: Finally, we get a Superman that is closer to what he is in the comics. He has a brighter costume, and less brooding persona. That may not be the case when he is first brought back from the dead, but what we do get is a very cool few scenes. The moment when he is brought back and faces the League is my favorite part of the whole movie. I could watch it over and over and never get bored. It made the comic book geek in me happy that Joss Whedon took over to give it what fans have wanted. If I had to offer one complaint it would be that I really hoped we’d have seen him in his black and silver suit with a slight mullet. In all reality hair does continue to grow after death for a bit, so him being clean cut made no sense.
Steppenwolf: I was surprised to hear he was going to be the main villain, but excited as well. He was one of my favorite villains when I was a kid, and seeing a proper interpretation of him got me stoked. While the Parademons really worked, however, he wasn’t as memorable. The back story we got felt like it was missing quite a bit, but that could have been forgiven if we’d had something visually fun to look at. The biggest problem I had with the movie was him. The CGI was absolutely horrible. When you are given movies like Star Wars and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and you have these visually stunning fake people, why would computer graphics that look like they belong in the early 2000s be involved. All I could see while watching him was the way Hulk looked way back when Eric Bana played him. It was very very hard to watch him speak or see any close up of his face.
The small roles and cameos of a Green Lantern from ages ago, plus Zeus, Lois, Commisioner Gordon, Marc McClure’s appearance, and the post credits with Lex Luthor and Deathstroke were all welcome additions to enhance the story.
A side note… Whoever markets the toylines for these movies should be shot. All my son wants for Christmas is a Steppenwolf action figure to face off against his League. In order to get one, I’d have to buy all the heroes he currently owns. Needless to say I’m not doing that and ebay will hold the answers for me as I get an older version of the character with no stupid CGI barf face.
All the problems with CGI aside, I really found the movie to be a fun time. Would I say see it in the theater? No. I’d say wait to rent it, but don’t miss out. People who enjoyed Batman vs Superman should enjoy what it has evolved into here. People who hated Batman vs Superman should feel happy that it’s evolved into something better. It is not better than Wonder Woman, but I’ll place it above BvS, Man Of Steel, and that God awful Suicide Squad movie. I give it 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. It would have had another star from me if the effects were done right, and another if they’d managed the story better, but I don’t think it deserves some of the hate it is getting. If this is what the DC extended universe is going to start to shape up to be with its characters, then I’m all for it. What did you think of Justice League?
Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News
This has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons. Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable. Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.
X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene). The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood. We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains. We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it. Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice. This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it. —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast? Will they kill off Logan? He’s not getting any younger.
X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain. —— They should bring back Angel for this story. It’s only logical. I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin. A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans. Cyclops should be brought back. We never saw a dead body in X-3. He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.
X-Force: All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it. —– Who should be involved? I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel. Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.
Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine. He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP. Either way, it’ll be fun. I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H. I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully. Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.
Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.
The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain. Gwenn Stacey dies. Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer. —- This needs to be done VERY carefully. As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all. If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work. Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense. Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain. There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain. Make it dark and gritty.
Thor 3: It is all but confirmed. The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable. —– thoughts? I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne. Loki teaming with Enchantress and Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.
Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2. We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.
Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants. I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.
Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen. Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen. I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it. In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics. This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long. The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD? Did Magic ressurect him? They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested. I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.
Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group. —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately. Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.
Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3. Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate. — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there. We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.
Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored. Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo). Wonder Woman has been cast. There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——- I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds. I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character. Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne. Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not. In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA. The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all. maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.
Justice League: —– not much is known. Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it. learn A lesson, DC. Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff. Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established. No one wanted to see someone else in the role. Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right. Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.
Arrow: What’s to come? Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow. It’s established. It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe. I can’t stress this enough. Oh, and one other thing. Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister. Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.
There you have it. My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there. Bring me in as a writer or consultant. What do you think? Which movies are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Chime in. The bottom line? I’m a comic book fan. I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed. I want the best of both worlds.
Music and The Justice League
I’m getting my name out there as a writer, but long before I began scribbling stories onto pages, I was into music. Now, I play multiple instruments and love a good band jam every once in a while. That is why I decided to share this topic. I will continue to do so for other comic book organizations and characters, but this one hits close to home for me and it is because I’m one of the artists involved.
DC Comics’ The Justice League has been around since the early 1960s, and their ever changing roster has done a great job of protecting the citizens of Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions. Rightfully so, they have been an inspiration to musicians from around the world. Here are some of the tributes paid by bands, artists and musicians. If you have any others to add, please comment, because I may be leaving some out.
Theme from the Superfriends: This was my first cartoon growing up. From the late 70s until the mid 80s, the theme song was catchy. years later I realize how campy the show was, but it is a guilty pleasure. The theme song still echoes in my mind as if it were yesterday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jHj6Y-r57Q
Justice League of America Theme song from 1960s: before the superfriends, there was an action hour. This was the theme song from that cartoon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWKxunwvU0Q
Justice League Unlimited: After the Batman and Superman animated series in the late nineties, the new milennium brought us a new incarnation of the League in animation. Justice League lasted for 2 seasons, but continued on in this series. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvjMnVi3XZI
Way Out Junk: Stories About The Justice League: I did a search and found this vinyl. I’ve heard a few samples, and it is typical cheesy era music, but it’s amusing nonetheless. Here is a link to info on it, and there are download links attached to the article http://wayoutjunk.blogspot.com/2007/01/songs-and-stories-about-justice-league.html
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (Just Undeniably Some of The Illest Composers Ever): This Grammy winning group of producers and composers has gone on to produce many popular artists. Although none of the music seems to be inspired by the Justice League, their name was done in tribute. This is just the wiki page on their history, but you can do a search if interested in hearing some of their tracks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.U.S.T.I.C.E._League
Just Us (Justice): This is why it hits so close to home. This song is one that I wrote along with John Caputo a few years ago. I also did alternate lyrics that we never recorded and titled it “Not Us (Injustice)” about the Injustice League. Listen to the link and if you like what you hear, there is much more of my non comic book related music at the album links on the right side of the page. (I’m pictured in the upper left hand corner and am performing vocals, saxophone and harmonica on the tracks) http://coolanimaled.com/track/just-us
Arthur Curry: This song by Ookla The Mok, mentions more than just one hero. It calls on the whole league. It’s definitely a strange listen, but had to be mentioned in the list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLeLbPezMfc
Melt The Guns: The group XTC is speaking to all the members of the Justice League Of America. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGc5h1yWHQ
Like I said, please add to this list with anything you can think of (even if you are an artist like myself who has similar songs).