On paper, Suicide Squad was hands down one of the most promising films ever.
The film had big names like Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, and Jared Leto (more about him in a moment). Suicide Squad also had tons of money with a skyrocketing $175 million budget going into the production. Then, it didn’t work much.
The ultimate million dollar question was… what happened?
There’s no question that Jared Leto’s ‘Joker’ was a huge disappointment to many. With Warner Bros. cutting most of Leto’s scenes out of the movie, it stirred up many things, most of which, controversy.
Jared Leto was mad. Fans were mad. And critics were not impressed. To many, Leto’s ‘Joker’ was a joke itself and came off like a circus act. There are also many people who believe that Leto captured everything that makes The Joker menacing.
Like it or not, Suicide Squad is a divisive and excruciatingly controversial film.
Critics bashed it and so did moviegoers, yet it earned nearly $800 million at the box office in its worldwide theatrical run. It also had a number of awards and nominations. Hardcore DC fans still stand behind this film to this day, even though they are still wondering what director David Ayer did with all of the missing Joker scenes.
Before getting into this column. I don’t think Jarred Leto did a good job playing the Joker. To me it just wasn’t a good adaption of the character. But I can’t say it was Leto’s fault because I think the whole disaster of his offering had to do with the incompetence and bad decisions by Warner Bros.
You can tell that Jared Leto seemed to put in a lot of effort into crafting the persona and look of ‘Joker.’ That being said, there are ways to fix Jared Leto’s Joker and Suicide Squad as a whole.
Here are only a couple of methods Warner Bros. should heed:
Making Joker the main villain would benefit the film so much. Whether you are a die-hard comic book fan or just a random guy on the street who knows nothing about comics, you know who The Joker is.
Talk about any top-tier list of greatest villain of all time (DC or Marvel), ‘Joker’ has rarely missed the top spot. Imagine being the head of Warner Bros. and not making ‘Joker’ the main villain?
It boggles my mind the studio didn’t just make ‘Joker’ the main villain. After tons of hype and fantastic marketing, fans were eager to see Leto’s ‘Joker’ — only to be barely used in the film.
Suicide Squad clocked in at 2 hours and 17 minutes of runtime. After a good amount of research, and many times revisiting the film, I found his scenes where he is actually involved is a little over 7 minutes. That’s it.
In totality, that is around 7 minutes and 20 seconds, not including the dream scene which was 25 seconds. And that’s of a movie, much anticipated, for 2 hours and 17 minutes!
This was a huge missed opportunity Warner Bros. missed on — why not give ‘Joker’ at least 30 minutes of screen time and strengthen the film considerably? That would have given the fans what they wanted! No one asked for an over-the-top, corky, weird seven-minute ‘Joker’ interpretation. We wanted something different, something that would have transcended the DCEU and its films.
At the time Suicide Squad came out, we hadn’t seen The Joker on the big screen in more than eight years (that was Ledger’s masterful ‘Joker’ in The Dark Knight). So, moviegoers and fans were tremendously eager to see the character on the big screen for a new take on ‘Joker’ we had never seen before.
Only to realize that it turned out to be the biggest missed opportunity in cinema history.
When I say scrap everything out about her character, I mean everything. Every scene, every second, every confrontation … everything.
Suicide Squad’s Achilles heel is Enchantress.
It’s no shocker Enchantress didn’t resonate well with fans or critics. If you take everything out about her character, it changes everything about the movie. And for the better.
Enchantress didn’t bring anything to the table but sloppy CGI and terrible traits. She is one of the worst villains in comic book movie history. Joker as the main villain for the film would’ve benefited Suicide Squad in a better way.
When Enchantress showed up on the screen, there was already a level of disconnect for me. It felt so unrealistic seeing the Squad face off with Enchantress (who is practically a deity already). The villain should’ve been someone just like them and someone who has been in their shoes. Like the Joker, not a world-ending threat.
Jared Leto’s ‘Joker’ is one of the biggest wasted opportunities in film history.
The aftermath of Suicide Squad hurt many fans. It was bashed critically and domestically, by critics and fans. To this day fans still talk about what happened with Suicide Squad. But maybe it will be redeemed with the Joker movie coming this year with Joaquin Phoenix at the helm.
Few nerd masters can be known as surnames, but those who can, need few introductions — Lee, Roddenberry, Siegel, Kirby, Lucas, Shuster, Spielberg, Kubrick.
Arguably, there is no surname probably more well known than ‘Tolkien.’
The former WWI soldier learned that the real journey lies within. His imagination created people, creatures, and an entire universe that is unlike anything known to geekdom.
Middle Earth has spawned six majestic movies, tales that span generations, card games, board games, and now — most deservedly — a biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien himself.
David Gleeson, who considers himself “a Tolkien superfan and scholar,” has been working on the script since 2013. Fox Searchlight purchase the rights and has been sitting on casting until now.
Collider shares the synopsis of the May 2019 biopic as:
Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “Fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.
The movie will star Nicholas Hoult (X-Men’s Hank McCoy/Beast) as J.R.R. Tolkien and Lily Collins (The Last Tycoon’s Celia Brady) as Edith Bratt , who is not only Tolkien’s love interest and eventual wife, but also inspired his elven princess characters. The film will be directed by Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski.
It’s no secret one of the most polarizing conversations to have in nerd circles is the affect Zack Snyder had on the DC Extended Universe.
You may as well crack open “How do you feel about the President” in a diversity and inclusion board meeting or “Can we finally get serious about gun control” in the midst of an NRA convention.
For some peculiar reason, no one can agree about how Zack Snyder should be lauded for his storytelling prowess and movie making agility. Apparently, this same topic led to some strenuous thumb wrestling and vitriolic name calling at Warner Bros.
Following Zack’s awful and unimaginable family tragedy, WB brought in Avengers and Age of Ultron screenwriter and director Joss Whedon to trim everything up. Regretfully, the trimming became a hack job of epic proportions leaving many DC acolytes to demand “The Snyder Cut,” which may or may not actually exist.
Suffice to say, Joss Whedon left us with a vision of the Justice League that may have been slightly askew from Snyder’s vision. One of the people who noticed the discernible difference was Aquaman’s director James Wan.
This forbidden topic comes up because of the ‘Fire and Water Podcast,” which featured test screener for both Justice League and Aquaman, Neil Daly.
On the podcast, Daly shared that Whedon was responsible for the “teenage boy sexual humor” in Justice League. Following the “creep factor” he shares, we learn that Wan believed the King of Atlantis needed to go against the stream.
So, he called Zack Snyder–much to the chagrin of WB executives.
We could have gotten a whole movie about Aquaman basically fawning over Mera the whole time and making all kinds of dirty jokes and things like that and they really had to get away from that, which is all what Whedon had done, so Snyder had a little bit of an influence on Aquaman.
I love how Daly notes “a little bit of an influence.” When the young Jedi goes to Yoda, it’s a bit more than a “little bit.” Daly continues…
James Wan was showing Zack Snyder – against the studio’s wishes – cuts of the movie and early test screenings and storyboards to make sure that they’re on the same page with what he originally wanted and Snyder gave his blessing of approval, bringing it back to what he wanted all along.
Two things are deftly idiosyncratic here:
First, we’ve always thought WB did Zack wrong but to not even want his input on what could be the studio’s welcome back party?! That’s lunacy. They’ve had financial success, even the bad movies. But the fans have execrated half of the DC / WB joint efforts because of poor storytelling, lack of connection to canon, and overall vision for a fanboy and fangirl experience.
Next, Zack gave his “blessing of approval.” Wan made his own movie — his way, his vision, his signature. Nonetheless, he understood how everything began and how Arthur Curry was supposed to be. So, while he casually distanced Aquaman from Justice League, he carefully kept this aligned with what Zack originally wanted.
The moral of the story is this: If Walter Hamada doesn’t back a Brinks truck up to James Wan’s house to replace Zack Snyder as the chief visionary behind the ‘Worlds of DC’ or whatever the hell WB wants to call it, there is something really wrong.
DC has a direction. Finally. Woe to all the CBM fans if they wander off the dirt road to take a piss again.
For years, fans and subscribers (sometimes one in the same) have been bewildered about the dump truck of original content that comes rambling out of Netflix HQ.
That traffic jam of documentaries and daring narratives are finally getting recognized by more people than just those that pay for it. We’re talking critics. And they love it.
In case you weren’t watching the Golden Globes or the news, Netflix has been getting quite the ray of sunshine warming their hearth lately.
Maybe you have heard of Bird Box? Sandra Bullock commands the screen to this wildly entertaining, post-apocalypticish magic carpet ride all the way to the highest-rated and most-streamed show the content juggernaut has ever provided. Like 45 million accounts have watched the movie, or at least some of it.
That’s saying something considering they have 58 million U.S. subscribers.
Another one is Roma. The Oscar-winning Alfonso Cuaron appears he is on his way to get much more hardware for this autobiographical masterpiece as he collected ‘Best Director,’ ‘Best Screenplay,’ and ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at this year’s Golden Globes. That was the last stop in his tour, as he has also picked up a hearty collection of BAFTAs, Critics Choices, and AACTAs. And he did it with Netflix.
So, of course, they have to pay these people, as well as the Coen Brothers, Shonda Rhimes, Martin Scorsese, and the heads of the other 90 original films they are offering the public in 2019.
And by “they,” I mean “we” as subscription rates will take a nice hike to the tune of 13 to 18 percent. The most popular subscription at $11 will go to $13 each month. Sure, $2 can barely by you a soda these days, but remember those 58 million subscribers? They also have 78 million outside-the-U.S. subscribers.
Do the math.
“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience,” the company said in a statement announcing the changes, which apply just to United States customers.
Fresh on the heels of docking our allowance, Netflix’s stock went up 6.5 percent. That jump may pay for the $18.6 billion in original content the company has vowed to spend in 2019. (This is not a typo.)
Again, by “the company”, I mean “the subscribers.” Happy streaming.
Hollywood hasn’t been this consumed with A-List talent since the Golden Age. As award season is on full display, we see young and older alike in all their regalia impressing critics and cinephiles alike.
Among the throng of talent is Christian Bale, who is easily among today’s pantheon as one of the greatest actors of this generation. Recently, Bale spoke on “Playback,” a podcast from Variety, where he shared many candid thoughts, including why he won’t–and can’t–watch The Dark Knight trilogy again.
Let that set in: Easily, one of the best trilogies in cinematic history and certainly the standard to telling a story in CBMs, won’t be seen again by the man who helped bring them to reality.
Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and Trevor Reznik in The Machinist. He was Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle, and most recently, Vice President Dick Cheney (for which he very well will win another Oscar in Vice.
The dude was even Jesus Christ in a 1999 made-for-TV movie Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999). Despite all those roles of greatness, he may be singularly regarded as the Bruce Wayne by many. And now, he refuses to watch it. Ever.
It was an eerily cool summer night on July 20, 2012 when the act of a twisted, maniacal person in a mask and kevlar outfit infringed on the safety and joy of others, ran into a theater screening opening weekend of The Dark Knight Rises with an open gas canister and began firing without aim or remorse.
There were 12 people killed and 70 people injured at the hands of James Holmes (who later dyed his hair bright orange and called himself ‘The Joker’). He was later arrested behind the Century 16 theater — standing quietly and idly by his car. This feckless thug would later be found guilty, sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences, and given a specific 3,318 years in prison. Without parole.
If Santa exists, someone in prison will be from Denver as his bunk mate.
Back to Bale: He’s known as a method actor of the highest order, like, Daniel-Day-Lewis-on-a-good-day method acting. That said, emotion and psyche are two overwhelming motivators for people like Bale.
So, when an event of this real-life horror stains the culmination of his comic book acting tour de force, it sticks with the guy. And that’s what he shared with Variety.
Very sadly, I have not been able to watch that film since because of the whole tragedy of Aurora. I have not been able to sit down and see it without thinking of that. I’d love to be able to, one day.
We sit there, sometimes in privacy, other times in public. We go to escape. We go to be entertained. And we forget the people representing our superheroes are real people.
For them, it’s a gig. For many, it’s a check. For others, it’s a true passion, an art form of the ilk we would find Da Vinci, Picasso, Amadeus, Webber, Lloyd Wright, and Shakespeare. They would never abuse a memory or a role for shtick, so when someone else does it, the memory remains.
Why do things like religion and politics and even the inane debate over Marvel and DC cause such tempers to flare? Because people have more passion than temperament, ideas than intellect.
Don’t believe me? Meet Fort Worth Police Department’s own Cpl. Damon Cole.
I’m a proud Texan who lives in a certain cowpoke city known as Fort Worth. In these parts, Corporal Cole is a hero in every sense of the word, in real life, for more reasons than one.
Yes, his civil service alone grants him a heroic acknowledgement, but Cole understands when kids see him in a bulletproof vest and polyester, he doesn’t really reflect “a superhero.” So… he dresses like those for children who have battling much more than androids, aliens, and cosmic forces of evil.
They fight cancer and he inspires them.
I bring this up because we forget humans wear suits and dawn a mask for our vain entertainment. And for some reason, we forget who they really are.
Bale can’t watch one of the greatest CBMs ever because of another guy who thought he would the Clown Prince of Crime in real life; thus, affecting ‘Batman’ in real life for years.
People throttle directors on Twitter because they can, not because they are right, but because they are self-entitled. Other people dress up as superheroes–be it cosplay or cancer–because they are escaping. Just like the people who watch movies on a random weekend, it’s an escape.
However, if you run to a batcave or watch others run into a fire, heroes do exist. They are on earth. And lives–in any color–do matter. Mean people suck, folks. If you know a mean person, turn on a vacuum and tell them what’s going on.
And now, some pictures of the intersection with heroes and reality, all from Cpl. Cole’s awe-striking Twitter feed.
I met this little girl in San Jose, California at the Cops Care event sponsored by San Jose Police Department. I was so honored to be able to make her smile. She is a REAL HERO and I know she will kick cancer’s butt. #KindnessIsFree #BeTheReasonSomeoneSmilesToda #CancerSucks pic.twitter.com/FOQjqK2OnY
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) December 15, 2018
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) December 1, 2018
This is HERO Wilson Adams, he is 10 & he is fighting brain cancer. His dream is to me the real Captain America @ChrisEvans. I saw him as Capt. Amer. but I am no @ChrisEvans. I gave HERO Wilson a metal Captain America shield & I told him that he is my HERO. Kindness is free. pic.twitter.com/M4WoB69b8N
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) November 23, 2018
While I was the Hulk at HERO Jacob’s funeral, I got to see one of my other HEROES, Super Benji. I had the honor & pleasure to met HERO Benji 2 years ago as Batman. I was so happy to see how good Benji is doing now. I know HERO Benji will continue to kick cancer’s butt. pic.twitter.com/yJeayZAy2l
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) November 19, 2018
And, of course, this had to happen!
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) November 13, 2018
Hitchcock. Spielberg. Scorsese. Coppola. Kurosawa. Kubrick.
If there was a Mount Rushmore of directors, here’s where the game begins. Many cinephiles believed there were no more truly great directors. Today’s genius can be found in the Coen boys, Tarantino, Scott, and Boyle, but they have a hefty climb to reach those heights.
And then, came along M. Night Shyamalan.
It was a relatively unspoken name in Hollywood circles and then the ring fell off Bruce Willis’ finger. Within an instant, everyone began to shout his name from the rooftops. He was the next big thing. Set aside some stone, his face is going up there.
Following The Sixth Sense, we got a nerd movie with a Shyamalan twist in Unbreakable. This guy can’t miss!
Then came a rather tragic and circuitous trek of his career. The next five movies began a ‘Meh’ fest of indulgence. They all began the same: “Oh, he’s back. This is going to be it.” But they all ended the same: “The hell?!”
Signs. The Village. Lady in the Water. The Happening.
Each film was gradually worse than its predecessor. Throwing caution into the wind, Shyamalan went all-in on what the critics were saying and how the fans were fanning with The Last Airbender.
This is one of the dumbest movies made in recent memory. I would rather see Earth, Wind, and Fire geriatric reunion tour than these dingy elements. What was he thinking?
Hollywood was begging him to find his magic again. Pleading with him to find the top-secret, spoiler proof ender like he was known for presenting. Annnnnd… here comes After Earth.
It’s bad enough the movie made watching the Kardashians seem like quality viewing. This was Will Smith’s idea, one that Night should have put back in the future genie’s bottle. What was he thinking listening to the Fresh Prince?!
The mystery was he knew what people wanted from him. Instead of going to that light of acceptance and profitability, he ran from it like a current president from common sense.
So, he left.
For two years, M. Night Shyamalan took a sabbatical. Maybe he went to the islands and chilled. Perhaps he locked himself in his media room and began watching pictures from the aforementioned mountainous gaggle of directors. Who knows.
What is known is that he came back swinging. In 2015, he had $5 million to make a movie so he goes the indie route with Blumhouse and profited $93 million with The Visit. This is easily one of the most underrated movies of the year then.
So, he’s gaining a little momentum. Not so much with pretzel-knot twists in the plot, but surprising nonetheless. (If you saw Visit, you know.) In his spare time, he was executive producer of a cult-followed show on FOX called Wayward Pines. Again, no cliffhanger but a tinge of mystery to you coming back for more.
Night wanted more, and he’s feeling himself again, so why not?
Here comes Split. The trailers showed James McAvoy brilliantly portraying more personalities than Britney Spears on X at a rave. The movie was self-funded — Night used $9 million of his own from his ‘I See Dead People’ piggy bank. This… this could be the one. And, in old-school Shyamalan fashion, he knew something we didn’t know.
The movie made more than $280 million at the box office. He brought Night’s name back to headlines in a good way. Here’s one-time guy behind a superhero / supervillain movie taking a page from Marvel’s book — with a post-credits scene that got people shouting louder than anything in the movie!
No one. Not one person saw that coming! The scene was 16 years in the making and it paid off in spades. There he is, the working man’s superhero David Dunn, drinking coffee and grizzly telling the woman in the diner, “Mr. Glass.”
Finally, we are getting the sequel! And just like with the powerhouse movie that brought Shyamalan to us, no one ruined the ending. It was out of respect than anything. Two movies creates a mash-up for a sequel. It was genius.
Now that Glass is out (more about that in a second), we see the kind of cerebral moviemaking powers this one-time considered guru possesses. Have you seen why he chose those colors in the Glass poster?
Hear from the man himself:
Here’s a tidbit I’ll talk about tomorrow in the q&a: I chose green for David Dunn because psychologically it is associated with life giving properties. David is the protector of life.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 12, 2019
I chose ochre or mustard for The Beast because this color is associated with religious ceremonies. Hindu and Buddhist. A monks robe. I see The Beast as an evangelist. A preacher who wants to help save The Broken.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 12, 2019
Finally, I chose purple for Mr Glass because this color has been associated with royalty. Majestic qualities. Elijah sees himself as important. A main character of comics.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 12, 2019
As the characters believe in the comic book world the primary colors in the film become more dominate. As they stop believing they fade to a monochromatic world. The pink room where they do therapy is pink, red fading to white, bec this is where they stop believing.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 12, 2019
Much like with most things he does (again, no telling what was going on with Airbender and Earth), there is a true method to his madness. He truly is a savant for symbolism, only the depths of his storytelling gets drowned out by the hype and ballyhoo what people want from his movies — that serpentine tale ending with a twist.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Night fan. I haven’t seen Glass yet. No fear of spoilers here.
I have; however, read reviews. Rotten Tomatoes can make juice or pizza sauce for all I care. Most of those reviewers are angst-ridden hipsters who would rather sip a latte to an Indie than buy a Coke during a blockbuster.
Yet, there are some reviewers–respected minds of movie making–that aren’t delivering the glowing reviews for Glass as people would want, much to the chagrin of this reporter.
In his past work, [M. Night Shyamalan]’s displayed a wonderful knowledge of cinematic language, and a masterful control of the camera. But none of that is on display in Glass, which only has a few memorable shots spliced into a visually bland, flat space.
That playful air of the unexpected is mostly missing from Glass. We’ve been here before, now there’s just more of it. Yes, it’s easy to be impressed by the world that Shyamalan has created and now fleshed out, but it would be nice if we were also moved to feel something too. In the end, Glass is more half empty than half full.
Is Glass the least satisfying chapter of an often enjoyable, conceptually intriguing trilogy? Or is it an attempt to launch a broader Shyamalaniverse, in which ordinary men and women throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs will discover their own inspiring abilities?
On a purely practical level, Glass is drawn-out and disjointed, with disparate plot threads (some of them leading to, yes, a perfunctory rug pull) that seem dictated more by its stars’ availability than narrative cohesion.
Yet the movie, watchable as it is, is still a disappointment, because it extends and belabors the conceits of “Unbreakable” without the sensation of mystical dark discovery that made that film indelible. “Glass” is a sequel that feels more dutiful than necessary. It turns the earlier film’s ominous pop poetry into over explicit blockbuster prose.
See that obstruction ahead? Not the close one. The one way off in the distance? That is a huge fork in the road — one Shyamalan is approaching. Does he go left and make piss poor movies without his signature? Or, will he go right and continue to make movies his way?
The man clearly has talent as a story teller. He truly has a passion for making movies that make people talk and experience something. The question M. Night Shyalaman is “What does he want them saying when they leave the theater?”
Night has experienced both the magic of a glass slipper fitting when no one expecting his foot to slide in Hollywood in the first place. He has also felt the effect of a shattered dream leaving movies altogether.
He made a comeback, so he’s focused. Whether or not the third of the Shyamaverse troika sucks or not, he deserves fans to hang on because much like his first go-round, what happens after involving Mr. Glass will show which fork he takes.
We can only hope he chooses wisely before that glass ceiling comes crashing down on him once and for all.
In 2011, Adam Lambert arguably was asked to fill the largest shoes in the musical world when Roger Taylor and Brian May asked the ‘American Idol’ contestant to become the new front man for Queen.
Yes, he would replace Freddie Mercury.
If you saw the boy sing, you’d understand. His voice is outrageously golden hitting scales vocally that only a fine Labrador Retriever could enjoy.
Ever since he sang with the rock group on the ‘Idol’ finale (dude stole the show completely), he has been singing with the legendary rock group. And rumor has it, the dude is more Mercury than the YouTube Filipino guy is Perry with Journey.
He’s that good, so you know he had to see the new Rami Malek runaway hit Bohemian Rhapsody, right? Evidently, he had to do that because he was in it.
— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) January 11, 2019
Get out! Remember that scene when Freddie (in the movie) was just realizing his sexuality and watches that truck driver go to the restroom? They shared a look while Freddie was chatting with Mary Austin on the phone.
Yeah, that was Adam Lambert!
He not only has golden pipes but that cameo was Oscar-worthy. Best makeup right there. Who knew that was him?! A breathing Easter egg walked right across the screen and we didn’t even see it.
That alone shows the respect he has earned among the Queen faithful (present company proudly included). He truly is a magician with his voice. You would have to be to keep up with Freddie.
Next time you see the movie, check out that scene. Seeing it twice, I still missed it. Too bad he didn’t open his mouth. There’s no mistaking that voice of his. Fitting for Queen, don’t you think?
Marvel and DC Comics fans always seem to be fighting with each other these days. Each fan base despises the other simply because they prefer one brand over the other, and frankly, it’s a bad look for fandom in general.
Why fight over who has the better movies or the better characters?
Instead, why not be happy we live in a time where superhero films are all the rage and there’s no end in sight for this medium. There is no ceiling for how high these films can go! We even have some Golden Globes to throw around now. Quit rooting for one side to fail, and instead root for both sides to succeed!
The more quality superhero films we have to enjoy, the better, if you ask me.
That is the inspiration for this post. As movie goers and comic book movie fans, we should appreciate the quality films from both Marvel and DC. This A-List combines the top films from both the MCU & the DCEU. Both companies have accomplished tremendous achievements in film today and we should celebrate them all.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 (and a couple honorable mentions) from the two biggest superhero cinematic universes in motion picture history. Enjoy!
This is something Marvel fans and Spider-Man fans for which they had been hoping and praying for a long time…Spider-Man in the MCU! And, my-oh-my was the wait worth it or what?!
After his surprise appearance in Captain America: Civil War, fans were introduced to Tom Holland’s take on Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the first time. You know that old saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression”? Well, Holland knocked his one chance out of the park, which led to high anticipation for his first solo film.
Homecoming does a tremendous job separating itself from past Spider-Man films. Peter hasn’t mastered his abilities yet; it’s still so new to him. We actually see him struggle in the film. This is the most relatable portrayal of Peter Parker we’ve seen yet on the big screen.
The best thing Homecoming’s director John Watts does with this film is make sure we all know this is Peter’s story. With the decision to include Iron Man, a lot of people felt Robert Downey, Jr. would command a lot of screen time, but the film always has Spider-Man right at its heart.
When the film was first announced to be in development, the hype could not have been bigger. Batman. Superman. A fight for the ages. Epic in every sense of the word.
The marketing for the film was brilliant because it placed all the focus on the upcoming conflict between two of the most popular superheroes in comic history. People were excited to see Cavill’s Superman again after a terrific solo outing in Man of Steel, and people were itching with anticipation to see Affleck’s new take on The Dark Knight.
Then, the film released and the reaction was…well, divisive to say the least.
Snyder went for a very dark tone in the film. His goal for the audience wasn’t to see heroes as just people who save us from bad guys, but rather question the very nature of these heroes. After his city-leveling fight with Zod, Superman is wanted by the public and the government to take accountability for the collateral damage. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne sees Superman as a potential threat to the planet who needs to be stopped.
The more times you watch the film, the more you really understand the deeply rooted themes Snyder implemented. This is definitely a film that gets better with each rewatch.
Aquaman is as comic book as a comic book film can get!
Crazy trippy visuals, larger-than-life characters, an underwater world filled with bizarre creatures, intense action sequences, some cheesy dialogue and a little over-the-top acting. Momoa’s ‘Aquaman’ is a far cry from his comic counterpart in the looks department, so when Momoa was first announced, many fans were quick to voice their concerns. It’s safe to say they’re eating their words now!
As of now, Aquaman is crushing it at the box office, has become the highest-grossing DCEU film after only three weeks, and is only a few thousand away from $1 billion! People are loving Momoa’s take as King of Atlantis. The film itself is highly enjoyable and features some great performances by Momoa, Nicole Kidman, and Patrick Wilson. The dynamic between Momoa, who is half Atlantean and half human, and his half brother King Orm (Wilson) is by far one of the highlights of the story.
The gorgeous visuals and insane action sequences make this a must-see film. We can’t wait to see where his character is taken in a sequel! Besides, who wouldn’t want to take another trip into that beautiful underwater world James Wan has crafted for us?
Another film hot with anticipation when it was announced was Black Panther, which represented more than a film, but a cultural milestone. The way the film performed at the box office, it was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon.
After his scene-stealing appearance in Captain America: Civil War, fans were left begging for more. Boseman seemed at home in the role. His performance in Civil War really went a long way with Marvel fans to assure them he was going to do this role justice.
At the end of Civil War, we see T’Challa ready to become king of Wakanda after the death of his father, which is where we pick back up in Black Panther. As T’Challa tries to balance being Wakanda’s protector and king, a lost relative comes back to take the throne for his own, which opens the doors to one of the most memorable villains in all of comic book films in Erik Killmonger.
Killmonger is memorable because, unlike most villains, his justifications for his horrific actions actually hold some weight. It’s not crazy for people to say they didn’t 100% disagree or sympathized with him. Aside from having a phenomenal villain, the film also does a beautiful job of showcasing Wakanda. The shots of the technologically advanced city are simply gorgeous and the first reveal of the city might be one of the best parts of the entire film. We cannot wait for Black Panther 2!
This is another film that represents a cultural milestone. Not only was this film incredibly leggy at the box office, it also received glowing reviews from critics and fans alike, something that the DCEU sorely needed after the divisive receptions of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Both those films made a lot of money but the reception they received caused people to start to question Warner Bros. handling of the DCEU.
Then came Wonder Woman. After her appearance in BvS, every Gal Gadot critic ate their words. She was arguably one of, if not the, best part in that film.
Wonder Woman is a beautiful film (no pun intended…well, maybe a little). It is definitely one of the best films DC has ever produced, and they couldn’t have found an actress better suited for this role than Gal Gadot. She is 99.9% the reason this film was successful, because she absolutely crushes this role, oozes confidence, and his incredibly magnetic whenever she is on screen. Yes, she’s drop dead gorgeous, but it’s her confidence and how comfortable she is in this role that allow her to steal every scene she’s in.
The film also gives us our first look at Wonder Woman’s home, Themyscira and her people — the Amazons, a race of all female super warriors. This film really served as a film for empowerment as it featured powerful female characters everywhere. It was a long time coming to get a female-led superhero film. And while we shouldn’t have had to wait so long for it to happen, the wait was more than worth it!
If you said “who?” when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 was announced to be in development, you weren’t alone. Definitely a lesser known property from Marvel, especially to the casual fan, many wondered if this film would be a rare flop in the MCU.
Oh, how the doubters were wrong. This film solidified Marvel’s inability to miss with any of their properties. Assembling an A-list cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista certainly didn’t hurt either. That, and hiring a director whose style fit this group of misfit intergalactic defenders in James Gunn.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 introduced fans to an entirely new, and much lesser known, team of Marvel heroes. These aren’t your average Avengers though. This group is made up of thieves, assassins, and criminals. The film does a terrific job giving each member of the Guardians a back story so we become more familiar with them and had a reason to care about these characters.
The dynamic between all the members of the team is electrifying and magnetic. It’s the chemistry they had together on screen that elevated the film to unforeseen heights. Leave it to Marvel to turn a group of lesser-known characters into household names and fan favorites–even a talking raccoon and a living tree that only says “I am Groot.”
Marvel made history with the release of the first Avengers film. The culmination of the first phase of MCU movies, the Avengers paid off plot threads from five different movies that came before it and combined all of these previous stories into one huge blockbuster event.
Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye — they all shared the screen in a truly remarkable, history-making moment that earned an enormous $1.5 billion at the box office. The movie held onto its title of top-grossing MCU film (and top-grossing film ever) for a long time.
The shot of all the heroes huddled together ready for battle is one of the most epic and memorable money shots in all of film. I know I had goosebumps. What’s truly remarkable is the perfect balance each of the characters were given with screen time while never sacrificing the story.
A shared cinematic universe was pretty much unheard of prior to the MCU. Sure there have been cross-overs before, but never anything quite like this. Many critics believed taking the plot threads from different stand-alone films and tying them all together into one massive team just seemed like too big of a task to handle. The Avengers proved it could work, which solidified the MCU as a successful shared cinematic universe.
A lot of fans, and even Chris Hemsworth himself, had grown bored of the ‘Thor’ character post Age of Ultron. Our favorite Asgardian was becoming a one-note character without much substance. A Norse god that wields an indestructible hammer shouldn’t be seen as a comical figure but he also shouldn’t be seen a character with little personality.
Moreover, when you have a versatile actor like Hemsworth who just so happens to be comic genius, you tinker with the source material slightly to play to your star’s strengths. Enter Taika Waititi, another comedic genius with a very particular sense of humor. Waititi and Hemsworth used Ragnarok to reinvent Thor for the MCU, and they absolutely crushed it.
Thor Ragnarok represents a rebirth of sorts for Thor. He gets stripped of his hammer, his armor, his home and yes, even his hair! That’s one way to reinvent a character–take away everything that’s made him Thor up until this point.
Hemsworth gives a terrific performance in this one. The audience can see that he really let loose and had some fun in this film. Not everything has changed though as the relationship between brothers Loki and Thor remains a highlight of the film. The progression of their relationship throughout these films is beautiful.
Then you add in Tessa Thompson’s badass Valkyrie, Mark Ruffalo’s now talking Hulk, a wicked performance from Cate Blanchett as Hela and a screen legend like Jeff Goldblum…this film had all the tools to be a turning point for the Thor franchise and it did not fail to deliver!
Superman. Zack Snyder. An interesting combo that produced a beautiful film.
Superman films of the past were really all fluff with little substance. They were always fairly light-hearted with your typical cliched villains. Zack Snyder brought a whole new take to the son of Krypton. He wasn’t simply this symbol of hope, but rather a conflicted man caught between worlds, trying to figure out his place.
This Superman struggles with accepting his differences and his abilities or being afraid of them. In Zack Snyder’s world, Superman is equally as loved by the public as is feared. Some see him as a protector while others view him as nothing more than an alien to the planet; ergo, a potential threat.
Man of Steel spends a good amount of time exploring Krypton and Kal-El’s parents (including a badass Russell Crowe). We find out that Krypton is dying and an infant Kal-El is sent away to earth to ensure his survival and the survival of their race. The film does a beautiful job showing the struggles Kal-El experiences growing up being different on earth, having to hide his abilities out of fear of being ridiculed by his peers and the world.
The journey Kal-El goes on throughout the course of the film is one of self-discovery to understand who he is and why he was put there on earth. Man of Steel is an emotional thought-provoking and visually gorgeous movie. The way the film depicts the use of Superman’s abilities, particularly the flying, is incredible, and the action sequences are second-to-none. This was the Superman film we all had been waiting for, the real question is… where the hell is Man of Steel 2?!
While many people were quick to make jokes about this film being “Avengers 2.5” because of the amount of characters involved, make no mistake, this is 100% a ‘Captain America’ story.
Taken straight from one of Marvel’s most famous comic storylines, Civil War sees earth’s mightiest heroes divided into two opposing factions. Not only does the film include the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Bucky, Scarlett Witch, Vision, and Falcon, but it also was dealt the task of introducing two new heroes into the MCU in Spider-Man and Black Panther. With an Avengers-sized cast and the introduction of the long awaited take on Black Panther and Spider-Man, Civil War had a ton of hype and also faced some huge expectations.
Here, we see our beloved heroes divided and pitted against each other. One team following Iron Man while the other following Captain America. And right at the center of the disagreement? The Sokovia Accords, a document created by the governments of the world to address all of the collateral damage done by the Avengers battles and as a means for the government to have some sort of control over this super-powered team of heroes.
By far one the of the MCU’s most political films, the Russos created an intense, thrilling, and emotional story. They handled the introductions of Spider-Man (probably one of the greatest introductions in film history) and Black Panther flawlessly. Then to tie it all up in a neat bow, the Russos decided to give us a villain (Zemo) who is more tactical and strategic in his approach with an extremely emotional payoff after Zemo’s plan comes to fruition. This film, by far, had the biggest consequences for the MCU at large than any other film before it.
After Captain America’s lukewarm introduction into the MCU in The First Avenger, the Russo brothers took the helm of his sequel and really revved up the action and espionage.
Widely viewed as one of the best comic book movies of all time, Captain America’s sophomore film really helped to establish Steve Rogers as one of the MCU’s biggest badasses. The marketing for the film really emphasized the enhanced action and fight sequences, letting audiences know this sequel would be much different than Cap’s introduction film.
It worked because the film made an enormous jump at the box office over its predecessor. The inclusion of Nick Fury, Black Widow, and the Winter Soldier certainly didn’t hurt either.
Right off the bat, we see Steve Rogers in a black ops mission with a SHIELD strike team. He jumps out of a helicopter sans parachute, climbs onto a enormous ship, and immediately proceeds sprinting around the ship’s deck dispatching henchmen with ease. Hands down, this is one of the best action sequences ever put together.
From there the film takes us deeper inside SHIELD to discover corruption and deception within, corruption that has existed within the organization for years but was never detected until now and not even Nick Fury could prevent the fall of the organization he dedicated his life too. We also are given possibly one of the greatest villain introductions in film history with the first appearance of the Winter Soldier.
The film then takes a big, emotional twist when Bucky is revealed to be behind the mask of the Winter Soldier, and for the remainder of the film, Cap does everything he can to bring his old friend back to him. Action, emotion, espionage…this film has it all and deserves every ounce of the praise it has received since its release.
I mean…did you really think the top spot would belong to any other film?! The word epic doesn’t even begin to describe what we witnessed in Infinity War. By far, this is the biggest ensemble of a superstar cast in film history. The culmination of 20 films that came before it pays off.
Think of all the various and intricate plot threads, incorporating characters from all over the MCU, and giving audiences interactions between heroes befitting for dreams. And, producing one of the greatest villains in cinematic history in the process. The stakes couldn’t be bigger, and this film will go down as one of the most epic, most memorable films ever produced.
The hype leading up to the release of the film was through the roof, and its box office take of over $2 billion is a testament to just how much people and fans everywhere cared about this movie.
Immediately, we are given a glimpse of just how cruel, destructive, and dangerous Thanos is. He defeats both Thor and the Hulk with relative ease and then (SPOILER) kills Loki just for the fun of it, leaving Thor adrift in space among the dead Asgardian bodies that were aboard that ship.
The film wastes no time getting from action sequence to action sequence as we are taken from Germany, to Wakanda, to Thanos’ home planet of Titan. We get to see different avengers team up that we have never gotten to see before and the highly anticipated interactions between such heroes as Iron Man and Star Lord, Iron Man and Dr. Strange, and Thor with Rocket & Groot did not disappoint.
The Russos and all the actors involved told fans from the beginning that they had no idea what’s coming and to be ready for some tears but nobody could’ve predicted the ending of that film.
I mean, how often is it that the villain actually succeeds?! Now, with half of the universe wiped from existence, including a handful of our favorite heroes, it’s up to the surviving Avengers to save the universe and undo the devastation caused by Thanos. I can’t imagine a film having more hype than Infinity War, but that’s exactly what we are going to experience with Endgame. April cannot come soon enough!
The skies darkened. The masses quieted. The lights dimmed. Ironically, this is not the setting of a new DC / WB movie. This was the feeling among most nerds–Marvel fans included–when Zack Snyder left the CBM world.
While there has been a cornucopia of Snyder sightings on Vero revealing clues about discarded images from Justice League as if they are remnants from a Zapruder film, the geek ingenue has been relatively quiet since his daughter, Autumn, tragically took her life in March 2017 during the direction of what was supposed to be Snyder’s crowning achievement in film.
Yesterday, Zack returned to his vacated Twitter handle to stand up and speak out about supporting suicide prevention with a great fundraiser CBM fans everywhere will want to–and should–support.
My contribution to the fan-initiated fundraising t-shirt campaign. All of the proceeds from this shirt going to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. https://t.co/sJQwbqXM3D #afsp pic.twitter.com/X8caqcJlW2
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) January 10, 2019
If you believe many reports, Snyder never “left”. He was straight-up shown the door in the most unceremoniously way. He leaves production of a movie to grieve with his wife. WB did the best they could do only to have it backfire in the most public and profound way. Next thing you know, Zack Snyder is packing up his office and announcing an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel The Fountainhead.
The departure left a wide chasm at DC / WB HQ forcing many acolytes screaming for James Wan to fill a seat or Zack Snyder to answer prayers and release a certain cut.
Well, what he has released is much more significant — a pretty awesome shirt for a very important cause. If you really #StandWithZack, put your money where your tweets were. Buy this thing and raise awareness about suicide prevention.
If you note the image, this shirt features the Justice League team member logos and a Joseph Campbell quote on the back reading, “All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”
The $30 shirt proceeds go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Fortunately, the $1,000 goal (aim a little higher, Man of Steel guy) has been shattered. To date, almost $14,000 has been raised. Let’s try to triple that amount.
It’s worth more than a shirt to Zack. Hopefully, it’ll be more than a mysterious director’s cut to you.
Christmas in 2018 was full of many wonderful things — fancy gifts, decent weather, great movies, new followers. And then news from Forbes came out yesterday ensuring the yuletide season just washed us away.
You see? In the world of film, there are several safeguards during the holidays. Those movies everyone watches at least once and gets into office arguments about what is the best, which one makes you happiest, and who was the best Santa.
For decades, Home Alone has been one of those staples. This film has not only been at the top of most of those debated lists, but it was also the king of profit when it came to the most successful seasonal flicks bringing a total of $285.7 million domestically and $476 million worldwide.
And then, yet another worthless reboot came to cinemas in 2018 ruining everything.
Yes, The Grinch starring Doctor Strange has now surpassed that Christmas classic as the most profitable movie of the season.
No one bothered looking during the holidays because they were busy and didn’t care about work and stuff. However, now that research has been done, we learn with an underwhelming 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and 51% on Metacritic, it seems on Illumination’s and Universal’s $75 million budget has brought in more than $495 million!
So… there’s that. Long live the booger green king. Bah humbug.
Maybe you heard?
The Oscars haven’t been able to fill their stage with a host since they unceremoniously gave Kevin Hart an icy shoulder because of some gay jokes…the professional comedian made about…nobody.
For months, America has been asking if Kevin Hart would reconsider. For those same months, Oscar has been praying if he would do the same. Yesterday, on a ‘Good Morning America’ exclusive, the acclaimed funny man was straight-faced about his feelings on the subject.
In short, Oscar can suck it.
Of course, he’s “over it.” All the negativity in the press. All the trolling his social media for other jokes. All the politically correct dolts who get offended at traffic lights because they acknowledge color.
It took two days for Hart to step down from the stage he never had an opportunity to command (and believe, he would have crushed it). The Academy wanted him to apologize (again, again, and again) for jokes he made that read as homophobic slurs. Never mind that he’s a comedian who uses some timely shock to create awe.
That shock came from some tweets for which he previously apologized because they were a little strong. He didn’t need to do it again, and to his credit, he didn’t. Oscar demanded he should and Kevin Hart told AMPAS to ‘kick rocks.’ No need to kowtow. No reason to have a repeat performance of humility.
So, what’s an Oscar to do? What else… have a show with no host! Because that’s going to work, right?
Variety reports for the first time in more than 30 years, the biggest night in film will be reduced to a bunch of famous people drawn from a hat to host various segments. Well, maybe not, but that may as well be happening.
The producers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, are scrambling to line up top talent needed to carry the telecast, which is just six weeks from airing live — on Feb. 24 — from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
You see, the scramble is happening because they believed they had a widget event the beautiful people couldn’t do without. In the case of Kevin Hart (due apologies to Wesley Snipes), they bet on black and crapped out.
Hart previously told Ellen Degeneres on her show that the process of looking through his roughly 40,000 old tweets an attempt to “damage” him — “a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me.”
For that, there was no second and third round of contrition. From that, the haters have no remorse. And because of all that, we something that is going to be the bane of AMPAS’ existence and a ruin to any ratings.
So, what happened 30 years ago?
Producer Allan Carr and director Jeff Margolis mounted an 11-minute musical number to open the show in lieu of a host monologue. The opening gave us Rob Lowe’s version of “Proud Mary,” a duet with Snow White. Lowe is still trying to live it down.
Sounds like great television. Maybe next year, Oscar will “forget” about social media and just choose a host instead of letting the nation of ruffled underwear-ridden wusses choose for them.
trainwreck… eh, The Oscars are Feb. 24, 2019.
Iron Man 3 has been tossed around by some fans as one of the worst MCU movies and in the bottom tier of their entire catalog. To me, yeah…not so much.
I believe Iron Man 3 is the most underrated MCU movie.
As many of us know, Shane Black, overseer of this film, is a very talented director. He’s also directed Robert Downey, Jr. before this franchise began. Nonetheless, Iron Man 3 has such a bad reputation and I don’t understand it.
This movie has a 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the 6th lowest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, tied with Captain America: The First Avenger (something of which I’ve already expressed my disagreement). This movie didn’t get accepted well with critics or fans. Why?!
Here are only a few reasons why…I just don’t get it:
The reason MCU works so well is they focus on the “hero” more than the “super.”
They understand how to build characters and make them seem like real-life people. You can see this in all of the stand-alone MCU trilogies. The hero loses what is most important to them (or, more specifically, what most resembles them) in their third movie.
(NOTE: I put “loses” in quotations because in the very next movie, Iron Man has all his suits and nothing about them missing is explained. *cough cough* Avengers: Age Of Ultron * cough cough* but I’m not going to get into that now.)
The beginning of Iron Man 3 has Tony Stark living a pretty good life but by the end of the film, he’s a damaged, changed man. As the movie progresses, anxiety becomes one of his most conflicting issues. This new facet of his identity brings out his inner thoughts, which leads to many good scenes in the movie.
Most importantly, I love how Tony Stark is practically alone making this feel like a solo adventure. Tony’s Stark’s character arc in Iron Man 3 is one of the best–if not, the best–character arcs in the MCU. Marvel focuses on the character of Tony Stark more than worrying about ‘Iron Man’ here, which makes this an even better movie.
As great as the story is in this film, the action in it is even better.
The MCU has many problems with action in some of their movies. Most of the time, the action feels forced, like it is jammed in a scene to have the audience stay interested and not get bored.
In Iron Man 3, there are not many action scenes but when the action happens, it is a work of art. This is a film that does a very fine job at inter-cutting action in the movie and placing it where it makes sense. Every bit of action happens when it’s necessary.
Come on! You have to admit, Iron Man 3 had good action. The scene when Iron Man saved all of the people from the plane is one of the best MCU scenes of all time!
In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark doesn’t always have his suit, which shows what Tony Stark is really capable of creating with his mind. The scene where Tony Stark is interrogated while he’s waiting for his suit to come is so good because he is vulnerable, which raises the stakes of what he has to lose. I don’t understand why Marvel doesn’t do this more. Then, the payoff we get with all the suits is simply brilliant.
I hope Marvel Studios does more of this “balanced action” with their heroes in the future. Nothing is forced in this movie, which creates some of the best action scenes in the MCU.
Iron Man 3 has some of the best dialogue in the MCU. Period.
The dialogue feels fresh and it flows. Nothing is cliché or cheesy. Okay, I’ll take that back, some scenes have flat dialogue but it’s like that for all MCU films at some point (i.e., Thor: The Dark World, Age of Ultron, Iron Man 2, Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp). Now to most of the general consensus all of those movies aren’t the most loved MCU movie and are the weaker films of the MCU, so it’s easy to make that critique.
No secret: Dialogue is huge when it comes to movies.
There’s no coincidence the movies with the worst dialogue in the MCU are the movies that people hate on and aren’t the most loved films of the MCU. By the way, the opening narration of Tony Stark is truly amazing and provides some memorable lines. The dialogue throughout the film is like that, rich and clear. It flows with the tone of the movie and never takes the characters “out of character.”
Now I know many fans hated this–the Mandarin twist. I didn’t, so hear me out.
At first, I hated it but it really grew on me and I understand why Marvel did this. They did it because the Mandarin just wouldn’t work on the big screen. Critics and fans alike hated it because the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 is different than the Mandarin in the comics. And, to be honest, I get where they are coming from.
Think about this: Guardians of the Galaxy is different In the comics.
Ego isn’t Star Lord’s dad. Nebula looks way different. If I had a dollar for every time Marvel changed something in their movies than what was in the comics, I would be a millionaire. I don’t mind when studios change the character and design for these new stories, if it’s done right. Marvel changes their source material all the time and we’ve become used to it, so why frown about this one? In Iron Man 3, it works well and puts a huge twist to the story.
If you haven’t seen Iron Man 3 in a while, go check it out. Tony Stark’s lone survivor adventure is fun to watch. Iron Man 3 delivers a terrific story filled with compelling characters. Most of the MCU’s plots are generic and a bit flat but Iron Man 3 learns from that problem and excels on it.
Overall, there are more reasons to love this movie than to not love it. Give it another chance, movie lovers. You’ll see.