the opening scene of the film happens to be something that wasn’t in
the original vision for the film, the patchy nature of the film really
begins to show (Upper Lip). I’ve been a big fan of Man of Steel but
since then have been consistently disappointed by where Zack Snyder and
company took the story. He chose a niche for these super beloved
characters, He was going for a very specific and niche tone. But then
something happened that really messed with that original vision. MOS,
BvS and Justice League were supposed to be a part of a trilogy which
Zack Snyder wanted to tell. Each bigger in ambition than the last.
‘something’ that I refer to is the involvement of Chris Terrio. He was
brought into re-write parts of BvS. I don’t know why critics or general
people don’t consider that as one of those bad hires that really spoiled
the films. As far as I know he isn’t a comic book nerd and he took the
steering away from Zack to redirect it into that god awful Martha Scene
who everyone makes fun of now. Sure, he won Best Screenplay for Argo
with Ben Affleck but this these films won’t ever be remembered as his
get into Justice League. It’s a mess. Structure wise, Joss Whedon had
an impossible task especially with the mandate by Warner Bros CEO to
bring the film to under 2 hours to enable more theatrical screenings.
They wanted money to be made from the most expensive super-hero film
ever made. With a 93 Million dollar opening being the lowest ever for
any DC film we all know how that turned out. It feels like vignette
after vignette and skims over the origins of each of the new characters.
You’re left wondering where do these people come from exactly? What do
they feel about being who they are? And how do they reconcile with the
fact that they happens to be gods now with these invulnerable super
powers? The flash, Aquaman and Cyborg just happen to walk into scenes
fully costumed and ready to fight. Another problem is the fact that most
of the good moments were included in the trailers but that happens with
most of these films now. Why do these films feel like extended trailers
Elfman was brought in to score the film after Junkie XL was fired from
the project. He chooses to go backwards and not forwards with the
choices he makes. Only Wonder Woman’s super popular theme is retained
(in a weak fashion) and everything Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL did was all
thrown out of the window. This score is mediocre at best. I think the
score for Man of Steel is so nuanced and emotional and it still
resonates with me. Anyone who has ‘an eye’ could see the reshoots and
the change in the way scenes injected witty lines and characters started
making self aware jokes. Maybe Zack wasn’t at his best when we was
conceiving this epic plan but his vision was tampered with from the
start. He needed a cohesive screenplay to support his grand visual
was meant to be an epic on paper with a wasted cast like JK Simmons,
Diane Lane, Amy Adams and Jesse Eisenberg who barely make it past two
short scenes or less. Steppenwolf was always planned to be a part of a
two part epic perhaps where the real baddie Darkseid tests the League to
their limits. Everyone online has mentioned about the weak fully CG
villain and I won’t get into it again. The death of superman is perhaps
his motivation to return to the world again. A couple of scenes between
Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne work and one with Jason Momoa when you look
at them in isolation. A couple of scenes do make you smile with The
Flash and Superman as well. But the razor thin plot, I don’t think, will
make them stick. Now let me examine the crux of my feelings here. The
twin director problem.
took a massive critical hit after BvS so they looked for what makes
other films in the genre work. Everybody knows they looked at Marvel.
Everybody knows they hired Joss Whedon to rewrite scenes. And Everybody
knows he injects these godlike beings down to earth with humour to make
them relatable. That’s fine but that was the foundation he built for the
Marvel Cinematic Universe with the first two phases of films and
culminating in the Avengers films. He was asked to do that again here.
But what makes DC films different is the grit and realism with which it
treats its worlds. That’s what made TDK movies and Man of Steel work for
me. Both those films involve a story treatment by Christopher Nolan.
That’s what these films don’t get now. A unique voice which has the
confidence of what story it’s trying to tell and then going ahead with
conviction. Unfortunately DC are trying to be like Marvel now for the
approval of the general public and its moving towards mediocrity to say
the least. That’s not what I’ve come to expect from these films.
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded… And everybody knows that they’re in trouble.
A great story can come from anywhere. The protagonist doesn’t even have to be human.
Woody Harrelson’s The Colonel invades ‘the Ape Society’ and kills
Caesars younger son, he is pushed into a hell of vengeance. A test he
has never really faced so far. A test of dealing with the loss of
someone his own. His revengful mindset even distracts him from his tribe
which was his main focus in ‘Dawn’. Koba visits him in his nightmares
and he begins to wonder what he is feeling may perhaps be no different
from how Koba must have felt with the years of suffering and torture
from the hands of some humans. Yet the vengeance that drives him is
strong and personal. He has a reason to seek the death of a human for
the first time in his life.
Michael Seresin (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) is excellent
with his wide framing of the beautiful landscapes to ground the
otherwise CGI world (just apes mainly) in real snow, water and trees.
The film then becomes almost like a western and we’re introduced to the
brilliantly acted mute girl who is later named ‘Nova’. What felt magical
to me was how the film then starts exploring elements of classical
silent films in its storytelling. Certain elaborate sequences in the
second act feel suspenseful and clarity of story is achieved without
ever really saying much. Michael Giacchino, the composer does probably
his best work here. Christian symbolism is also embedded into sequences
like the X tree (instead of a typical cross) where Caesar is captured
then we also have Bad Ape (Steve Zahn), another genius subplot in this
amazing series, an ape who learns to talk by mimicking bad humans and
then lives in isolation for years apparently. He provides the required
comic relief in an otherwise grim setting. Woody Harrelson has another
couple of amazingly paced and purposed expositional scenes with Caesar.
Maurice develops as someone who’s learned empathy from the Ape leader
and works to save the mute girl Nova, someone who’s not been corrupted
yet. She understands the need to protect anyone or anything with
film is about loss and the need for people to hold on tightly to what
keeps them going. When our support systems are wrenched away, we respond
with anger and violence. And when there are things in the world that we
don’t understand, we respond with fear and battles for control. All of
this and so much more is woven through “War for the Planet of the Apes”
in a way that often doesn’t hit you until hours or days later. When he
finally gets hold of the Colonel, I realized looking at that face that
Caesar will be an iconic character, one that moviegoers watch for
decades to come. And these films will only grow in esteem and acclaim.
Greatness always does.
Matt Reeves says this trilogy was Caesar’s Arc into becoming a mythical
legend among the apes because he transcends his own anger in a
prolonged moment filled with hate and guides his tribe into a place of
safety where nature also plays its part in eliminating the problems.
He explained it as ‘A Darwinian Biblical Epic’ and I certainly felt so.
Bros received heavy slack after the release of the theatrical version
after having made fantastic initial trailers and then messing it up with
the 3rd act reveals in the final trailer, which was in many people’s
opinion (and mine too) a poorly made film.
or adding little bits and pieces here and there makes so much of a
difference, doesn’t it? Well that’s exactly what happened with me as I
saw this version. As I am a film student, I try to delve for the issues
of rhythm and time when one is watching nay experiencing a film. First
of all this version starts to move in a more comprehensible way. That I
think was lacking in the theatrical version. There were so many abrupt
cuts and the sense of who’s coming from where and who’s going where was
very weak. In a broader sense, this version gets to see more of the
Africa Sequence, more of the bullet investigation, more of Clarke Kent
being Clarke Kent, a journalist (thank god!).
Problems even after the extended Cut
- Jesse Eisenbergs character has weak motivations. What does he know of The Batman? Why does he want to kill Superman? When was the inception of his idiosyncrasies?
- I think there definitely could have been a better way to introduce elements from the Justice League than an email from Bruce Wayne.
- I accepted the mystery surrounding the play with Wonder Woman but her character doesn’t have a well defined self sustained arc in this film. Yeah all entertainment these days is serialized I know but I’m sure we’ll love at least a subplot ending within a movie. Wonder Woman came back for the picture of hers that Luthor Had. Did she wipe that data out within the course of the movie? No.
- The weight of importance of events still feel shifted a bit too much towards Lois Lane and lesser towards Alexander Luthor. I think if the narrative curves would have been more of a triangle between Batman, Superman and Luthor it would have been a more engaging battle.
Problem but not really a problem
now trust the tone that these two movies have had. This cut made me put
aside my notions of Batman (Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale/Animated
Series) and let me think, Hey! Show me what story you’re telling. Let’s
see how it goes with this Batman. Man of Steel wasn’t linear (I enjoy
that movie a lot) and this is a complicated series of events too. We
haven’t seen the past of this branding, murdering and fucked up Batman.
Which is fine! He has a solo movie coming. I know! So there’s a story
for that perhaps.
Problems solved after the Ultimate Cut
Martha moment somehow for the first time felt less cheesy to me. It
felt a little more weighted but not enough. I guess the point was to
introduce the idea to Bruce Wayne that Superman also has a mother (He is
human) and he sees himself as the criminal who killed his own mother
which makes him piece it all together (because he is “the” detective).
- Clarke Kent is developed a little more as a journalist which was seriously lacking before so I cared more for his sacrifice.
couple of very “comic book brought to life” moments are added like the
opening of bottles in the Africa sequence, cops watching a Metropolis vs
Gotham football game, new introductions/shots to many such scenes.
wants to care about people (He is shown coming back down after the bomb
blast at the senate hearing to help people which is crucial
information) but he’s been in a sort of a depression (forever it seems
cause he doesn’t smile!) except for the bits in Man of Steel when he
warehouse fight involving Batman and Doomsday fight involving the
trinity has more intense shots (Rated R) are more cohesive/flow better.
funeral sequence has beautiful slow motion shots of empty roads and the
Daily Planet and a lot of Man of Steel recall. I think this is a nice
end for the non smiling/Self Serious Superman and we’ll see him smile
more in Justice League I’m sure.
I look back at this (edited post) I do feel the film tried to do too
much in one movie. It felt like little bit of a setup for Justice League
and Wonder Woman and The Batman while trying to a Man of Steel sequel.
Visually its brilliant but plot wise convoluted.
Overall the film feels like an operatic epic with huge ambitions but maybe some of us still won’t like that very thing.
battle of New York in Marvel’s first Avengers films has had an impact
on all earth bound MCU movies, since it did happen, in 2012. Also every
studio feels the pressure of making a cinematic universe now. So to be
able to contain a “story” within one movie nowadays is becoming a rare
thing. The recent wonder woman movie handled it best by book ending the
film by a voice over and virtual communication with Bruce Wayne.
first thing that hits you about Spiderman Homecoming is the youthful
gushing energy of the character that’s so reminiscent of the comics. The
world is based in smartphones and YouTube which grounds the film to a
level which is a fresh change from cosmic or Greek God adventures. We
know we’ll go back to that (In November) but this story is about a high
school kid and who doesn’t like that? Now I want this to be a change of
format cause I’m split on this film.
best scene of the film is with Tom Holland, Laura Harrier (Liz, the
girl who plays the crush) and ‘The Birdman’ himself Micheal Keaton in a
car. The simple nature of shots of the great actor as his understanding
of the detail (That apparently random kid, Peter Parker is Spiderman)
changes is phenomenal storytelling. The highest possible quality for me.
Also the pacing, is smooth throughout the film. My IMAX screening was
without an interval yet I didn’t look at my watch once which is always a
good sign. Most times 3D is annoying still but looking down the
Washington Monument Sequence gave me a physical reaction of trying to
find my ground while looking down how far the ground is and the next
shot was Spiderman doing just that. I love the fact that this film is
about growing up with real life problems of being a kid and dealing with
an aunt and her life and dealing with friends and girls in high school.
The fact that all his friends think he is a douche bag but he’s only
doing the right thing by leaving them at a party when a explosion
happens nearby. That’s a tough choice for anyone who knows his
potential. This is what makes Spiderman unique from other heroes and
these are the gods we do worship in modern times so.
Other things that I thought were cool
The Suit and the fact that Jennifer Connelly (married to Paul Bettany aka Vision aka Jarvis) gives the OS Voice.
Robert Downey Jr. being a bad-ass and Gwyneth Paltrow “peppered” in.
fact that this isn’t a self contained story and all threads will move
on to the other films sucks. I don’t like it. I wanna complain about it.
This feels like a TV episode where things happen but almost nothing is resolved.
I don’t know if this is unfortunate or if this is the “new way” some
films will be. The third act showdown in the night sky, on the plane is
generic to say the least with no real stakes explained or expressed.
This Spiderman film does not still have that moment or the emotional
heart we’ve come to expect in Spiderman films. Looking back at Spiderman
2 where it played out in a operatic fashion with a ticking clock and
something scientific at stake (like clean free nuclear energy at the
cost of an egotistical and equally brilliant scientist, Doc Ock played
brilliantly by Alfred Molina). I do feel this film does not not have
P.S. Chris Evans as Captain America is the boss.
you don’t know (or feel) the cultural significance of Wonder Woman
right now let me just put it in your conscious once again. Wonder Woman
is a 75 year old character who’s ‘never’ had a large screen adaptation
ever till now. She considered a part of the trinity of the most popular
comic book characters ever. Yet she’s never had a movie because people
believed it will never make as much money as Batman and Superman. Recent
reports show Wonder Woman has grossed more than BvS in the US Box
Office. Could any sane person say this even 5 years ago? Think of all
those people who are getting represented for the first time ever on
screen. If you’re a white or brown dude, like myself, we’ll never in its
full capacity, grasp the meaning
of seeing someone relatable do the
things we want to do. But if you’re a 14 year old girl who sees this
powerful and strong willed woman fighting for peace and not obeying the
words of a war general who sits comfortably while giving orders to
soldiers to shed blood instead of doing it himself, you are being
brought up just fine.
as a film it’s no secret that Wonder Woman is heavily influenced from
Richard Donner’s Superman. In tone (a couple of scenes taken directly
from it to pay homage) and with the pacing, yes but Wonder Woman is
essentially a god unlike Superman. She’s a myth and she’s all powerful
and righteous. What they (DC) do manage to do is tell a comprehensible
and complete story. In the modern world of flashy trailer like editing
or meaningless Bayhem, we do get a human story from an idolized god
figure. A story where not everything went well. They did not live
happily ever after, Diana has her delusions of mankind busted and yet
she chooses to trust the imperfections of man. She makes a conscious
decision to love inspire of the prevalent hate of a World War. That’s
whats resonant and unique. The fact that Patty Jenkins (The Director)
was given the creative license to portray a singular vision is great.
There are some special moments in the film which will stand the test of
(and grow with) time. This version will be the quintessential wonder
woman origin for this generation. And that is huge. Chris Pine will
forever be Steve Trevor and Gal Gadot will always be wonder woman for
some no matter how many remakes they make. That’s the power of this
Now it’s not perfect but no film is. Our own subjective desires entail us to nitpick but there is little petty minds like myself can do anything about the fact that I felt the pacing in the second half could’ve been improved. But that’s probably the YouTube attention span of my mind talking. If this was 1975, people wouldn’t mind it being longer. Gal Gadot is, I don’t know, one day I’d say she’s the perfect casting choice because of the charm in her smile and the physicality but on another day, I would prefer someone who’s accent didn’t take me out of it. Again I am just a dumbfuck sitting and judging. The movie was great. It made me emotional at times. The chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot was infectious and the writing was smart and deliberate. Patty Jenkins made this movie with heart and passion because of what this film needed to do. The fact that she did empower the character of Wonder Woman without having to downgrade or diminish the male counterpart, Chris Pine, is truly admirable and respect worthy. Their love wasn’t cynical at any stage and it was framed with a romance of a time gone by. I was a fucking mess when she leaps off from a platform in the comtemporary world (was it london?) and her intensly powerful theme song plays which fades into black and the credits roll.
Now Wonder Woman means a lot more in the DCEU going forward than ever before.