Wan Says ‘Aquaman’ is 143 Minutes of Foreshadowing, So Does This Guy

We have already been bold enough to say Aquaman is not only going to be good, but the reason DC Comics and Warner Bros. make a righteous comeback. And it’s all on the sturdy shoulders of horror ingenue James Wan.

Under his direction, DC is regaining trust in moviegoers again. Under his supervision, nothing leaks before its time (and it’s awesome). Under his expert eye, WB may regain its losses from that other movie and still make budget on Aquaman. 

And under his wishes, this movie is reportedly 143 minutes long of foreshadowing. What’s that mean? Rewatch this glorious five minutes of euphoria and we’ll explain…

Anyone else need a cigarette? Just me?

Recall the scene where it looks like the ocean is trying to eat Arthur Curry as he makes his getaway in a pickup truck? And then another where it looks like the same tidal wave is standing at attention behind him?

That is connected to the latest movie image released to EW and subsequent interview with James Wan.

arthur curry

What does it all mean?

“The context of that photo is basically the Atlantic coastline is being hit by tidal waves and it’s not actually an attack from Atlantis but a warning sign of what’s to come,” he says. “It’s basically a message from King Orm [Patrick Wilson] and he’s throwing our warships and waste back onto the land.”

You know how most trailers give the movie away; ergo, forcing you to waste your money and popcorn? Not the case with Aquaman. 

“The trailer and images don’t really do it justice,” Wan says. “The crazy part is there’s so much movie, what’s out there has barely scratched the surface.”

And why would he say that? Maybe because (if you remove the five minutes and change) there’s 137 minutes to go with this film we haven’t seen yet! We know that, thanks to some mate named George, whose sleuth skills found this…

There it is!  A distribution list to theaters and media reading 143 minutes of underwater ballyhoo. Even that rooftop scene is twice as long, with context! Wow.

(Oh, and don’t think we didn’t see that Zack Snyder producer credit in there, but I guess we can talk about that later.)

Pay Attention to Jason Momoa’s Other Role…on Netflix

The nerdverse is swooning for what could be coming from James Wan’s vision of Atlantis. The thought of Aquaman being as great as it seems does several things for aficionados of the geeky, not to mention the potential salvation of a doomed multiverse.

Another thing is the rise of a shooting star, Jason Momoa.

For a while, he was a B-list guy with untapped potential. His first tiptoe into the pool of the dork was Stargate: Atlantis. He was the mercurial Ronon Dex. Yeah, I didn’t see much either. There was a reboot of Conan the Barbarian, and while Momoa looks swole, he ain’t Arnold.

However, it was a good thing that happened because that failed movie led to the catapult into the ether as Khal Drogo in HBO’s juggernaut Game of Thrones. For 10 episodes, Momoa introduced us all to what he could be.

“If this is a dream, I will the man who tries to wake me.”

While that was cheeky and a skosh romantic response to cuddle with a dragon chick, there’s no doubt he could have killed anyone. Maybe even the cameraman. Stuff like that opened the door for him to be groomed as Arthur Curry. Yet, while we have all been celebrating what’s to come in December, there’s another show you should be watching.

frontier

Frontier on Netflix, preparing for its third season on November 23.

For two haram-scarum seasons, Momoa has played Declan Harp, a brooding badass fur-trader in the mid-1700s, head of the Black Wolf Company — the vaunted enemy of the British Hudson Bay company.

His forceful near omnipresence in this show commands the screen. Even when Declan isn’t on scene, he’s considered or mentioned. And because he’s part Irish, part Cree (Native American), the British and tribes hate him but respect him equally.

What’s cool is this all starts on reputation. Harp is a man set on vengeance, searching for the people who killed his family and then the fur trade gets in the way. So, he gets in its way, and the rest is good times for a good 12 hours sitting on your own throne rummaging through a bag of Cheetos.

The storylines are dramatic. The action is brutal. The plots are continual. And the show is a bingeworthy journey in what life was probably like in a world you’ve only read about in books.

If you have nothing else to do other than eat Turkey and fight a tryptophan coma, find Netflix and bookmark this show to your list. Season Three will be great and another reminder of why we wait with baited breath for December.

STUDY: These Aren’t Your Mama’s Nice Superheroes Anymore

Deadpool had the jokes about the brooding nature of DC Comics — a serious tone, heroes with angst, limited areas of comic relief, and all that violence. More than just a big body of nerds were shocked when Superman snapped General Zod’s neck like a old, withered twig in Man of Steel. 

So when the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition featured a new clinical research study today’s superhero is more violent than today’s super villain that same gaggle of geeks were probably not too surprised.

“Children and adolescents see the superheroes as ‘good guys,’ and may be influenced by their portrayal of risk-taking behaviors and acts of violence,” said the study’s lead author, Robert Olympia, M.D., a professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine and an attending physician at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Let the numbers speak for themselves:

According to the study’s findings, the most common act of violence associated with protagonists (“the good guy”) in the films were the following:

  • Fighting (1,021 total acts)
  • Use of a lethal weapon (659)
  • Destruction of property (199)
  • Murder (168)
  • Bullying/intimidation/torture (144)

Let that sink in: Many comic-book loving kids are what? Bullied and that is on the good guy list.

For antagonists (“the bad guy”), violence was portrayed on screen with:

  • The use of a lethal weapon (604 total acts)
  • Fighting (599)
  • Bullying/intimidation/torture (237)
  • Destruction of property (191)
  • Murder (93)

The one runaway metric was superheroes average 23 violent acts per hour while their enemies have a softer approach with just 18 violent acts per hour. Our Avengers or Justice Leaguers have a worse mean streak than the malevolent foes they protect us against.

Why?

anti heroes

There may also be a conflict with our twisted celebration of the anti-hero — Deadpool, Wolverine, Venom. These are not the Keystone Cops of the Justice League in the Wonder Twins.

We celebrate them because they do to the protagonists we wish we could do on a nearly daily basis. And, they do it while maintaining a stellar public relations record. Of course, it’s nice to be in a feature film positioned against the forces of evil and have no reservations about a “kill or be killed” attitude but are our heroes really too violent or just returning fire with fire?

Instead of turning the other cheek as a holy man and son of a King once shared, these heroes teach our kids to smack the hell out of both cheeks — and usually, with a weapon of some sort.

Hey, at least the women of our CBMs maintain their feminine prowess. According to the study, male characters appear in “nearly five times as many violent acts (34 per hour, on average), than female characters, who were engaged in an average of 7 violent acts per hour.”

“Pediatric health care providers should educate families about the violence depicted in this genre of film and the potential dangers that may occur when children attempt to emulate these perceived heroes,” [Dr. Olympia] said.

I guess here’s to hoping Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel fighting evil with a stern talking-to. Because that’s what sells comic book movie tickets.

‘Nutcracker’ Makes Box Office History — The Bad Kind

Ever since Disney determined The Jungle Book needed to be done in “real-life” style, the home of the mouse has been recycling its classics for what would be good for profits… eh, families.

Beauty and the Beast was acclaimed and did not disappoint. Next year, we will see The Lion King, which looks like it will equal the animated version of greatness. The verdict is still out on Aladdin thanks to an underwhelming trailer. But first, we find ourselves looking at The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. 

It was bad enough this movie was made a real version, but to jack with it (and make sure the homeless Samuel L. Jackson finally gets some work) was a skosh overboard. It was hitting theaters with the highly anticipated (suck it, critics) Bohemian Rhapsody, but this is Disney. Surely, it will impress.

Yeah, not so much.

While Bohemian Rhapsody is outperforming all the haters at $50M for a nice opening weekend, the Nutcracker just got kicked in its nuts with a paltry $20M opening. And when you consider that’s a $130M budget, this is not one of Disney’s best gambles.

In fact, if you look at introspective articles like this one in ‘The Wrap,’ it’s already being considered one of Hollywood’s loudest flops. Like, up there with Ishtar, Gigli, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, and another Disney banner Treasure Planet. 

“Obviously, while we try to put all our films in the best position to succeed, some might not connect as much as we hope,” said Disney domestic distribution head Cathleen Taff.

This will certainly mark the tote boards at Disney, as this was the biggest fart-and-fall-down moment in more than two years with the $18M opening of The BFG. Well, that and if you want to consider Solo, the worst-performing movie in the history of the franchise with only $392M globally.

So, what’s a studio to do?

Yes, they own Lucasfilm and Marvel so cash cows will continue mooing. They’ll be fine, but Disney may want to think about the movies they choose to altar. Not all movies need a reboot, a sequel, or a live-action version. Sometimes, believe it or not, certain films are better left untouched.

Just ask the girl-power Ghostbusters, Psycho from 1998, Robocop in 2014, and maybe Rob Zombie’s Halloween. You get the point.

‘Willy Wonka’ is Returning as a Prequel, and Bad Ideas Return with It

Alright. Um, show of hands… who is the turd that asked for this?

Anyone?! 

It’s bad enough Warner Bros. thought cinephiles were just wandering dark alleys everywhere looking for a reboot of the great Gene Wilder classic. Johnny Depp couldn’t hold Wilder’s candy-coated jock in terms of portraying the confection conductor.

We all knew it. We all saw it. And most of us couldn’t stand it. No one at WB got that memo so the rumor mill started spinning at the chocolate factory again that another Wonka production may be in the mix.

They got a little smarts at WB. Wilder could never be replaced or rebooted, so why not a rewind? If you were one of folks who saw Paddington, you may be familiar with its director Paul King. As recent as this past February, stories came out that either Ryan Gosling, Ezra “Flash” Miller, or Donald “Lando” Glover could be a younger Wonka, in terms of an origin film under King’s direction. 

wonka suspenseThere was never any comment about what, if anything, was happening. Until now. 

Adam Chitwood of Collider fame got the exclusive, there is indeed a prequel coming to screens in 20-something.

And, for those interested, he confirmed “Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman) was writing the script and David Heyman (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises) was producing.”

The books were great, although no one has really attempted the Wonka sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Yet, Hollywood in its eternal abyss of retread ideas and recycled thoughts, believes this movie — and that guy — needs a origin story, so says Heyman to Collider’s Steve Weintraub.

“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. What makes Willy—when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away?… It’s how does he get there? So we’re playing around with that.”

It’s almost like they need to “play around” with the idea because they don’t have a sandbox of their own, so why not pee in someone else’s pool? It’s only the shallow end. The stain only gets on your feet.

Play around?! This is Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka we’re talking here. To use his sage, irascible wit:

If the good Lord intended for us to walk, he never would’ve invented roller skates.

It seems Hollywood executives and soothsayers alike are glad for those roller skates so they can just whiz by thought-provoking and original ideas that take time to curate and heel-stop on the ones already done so they can microwave an easy-bake version of something for a quick check and some cinema mediocrity.

You know? Just playing around.

 

 

Hulk, Godzilla Get Their Own Constellations from NASA

When you think of “nerds,” most people usually go toward to the superhero section in the library but there is also that outer space area too. Think of the biggest nerds known to man — Einstein, Hawking, Tyson.

What do they all have in common? The final frontier. So, it only makes sense that NASA honors nerds with a constellation for location and admiration into perpetuity.

CNET reports the recent 10th anniversary of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. You know? Party favors. Confetti. Paper plates with stars on them. Cake with the Milky Way. Good times.

To celebrate the Gamma-ray scope, NASA has named 21 new gamma-ray constellations and some big nerds in NASA (of all places) got a little inventive with the nomenclature.

You’ll see Tardis of Doctor Who fame. Mjolnir of Asgardian carpentry fame. Enterprise of the aforementioned Final Frontier fame. Godzilla of nuclear lizard fame. And there’s even a constellation so big, NASA named it Hulk. Look…

nasa-hulk

Yes, the outline is photoshopped by NASA, but that’s intentional — an arrangement of stars named after the big green dude and Bruce Banner.

“Comic book fans all know the backstory of Hulk, the big, green, angry alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner, whose experiments with gamma rays went terribly wrong. Gamma rays are the strongest form of light,” explained NASA. “They pack enough punch to convert into matter under the right circumstances, a transformation both Banner and the Hulk would certainly appreciate.”

Not one for steering away from a fun conversation, Mark Ruffalo decided to get in the stratospheric conversation and his reply was ingenious.

That is precisely how we like our nerd humor — just stellar.

HBO Calls Out Trump for “Borrowed” ‘GoT’ References

It’s election season, which usually brings out the stupid in hired events directors. After every rally, a candidate ends with the obligatory “God Bless America” and begins shaking hands and kissing babies to some song that evokes a little nationalism or rally cry.

Now, social media directors are getting in the act, and they appear to be equally as unaware that all those pesky trademark and copyright infringement laws apply to their candidate as well.

Many times, said director is about as tone deaf as Helen Keller and believes his or her candidate du jour could use any song or image out there, but vocalists, bands, production companies, and artists are a bit wary of where their content is applied.

Most recently, Donald Trump was discussing the reinstated sanctions he is placing again on Iran geared to prevent the totalitarian country from investigating the possibility of creating nuclear weapons.

Are we not fans of terrorists? Not one bit. But… many people are fans of Trump either. Speaking of tone deaf…

Yeah, about that. Just because you’re the president and possibly (but very unlikely) a fan of Game of Thrones, doesn’t entitle you to create some cheeky graphic with a very recognizable moniker.

To wit, HBO had this to subtweet in Trump’s direction:

Yeah, hurts to miss that one, POTUS. Maybe that’s why most presidents have legal counsel chime in from time-to-time on things.

The creator of GoT even got the jokes and subtweets, but his had a different point. Mid-terms!

As of now, Trump’s “borrowed” tweet is still live and no response has come from Sarah Sanders’ lips. Probably won’t unless a nerd works in the communications office who speaks Dothraki.

Should that happen, it turns out the unavailable permission swung all the way over to the democratic coalition, which had this to say from its president:

Yeah, so that happened. Maybe a House of Cards reference will be next week. That should be fun.

A-LIST | The 25 Best Biopics of All Time

It’s here! The story of Farrokh Bulsara is out on the big screen. A much-anticipated biopic of a little-known singer, songwriter, and producer born in Tanzania who would later become Freddie Mercury, the voice behind one of the prolific bands in Rock and Roll history.

Queen not only etched its legacy in the hearts of music lovers for generations past and to come, but Mercury was one of the most misunderstood and iconic front men of all time. And whether you see Bohemian Rhapsody or not in theaters, the movie is going to be a moving biopic because of the subject matter.

bohemian rhapsodyFreddie Mercury’s voice, vision, and veritas moved people. His singing evoked sheer passion. And his presence off the stage was even more mesmerizing. I’m not a critic but trust, the thumbs up and tomatoes will be polarizing on this one.

So, that reminds us: What’s your favorite biopic? 

When you think of a famous person in history, did he or she inspire someone enough to make a movie about them? Few have and even fewer make a profit that’s worth discussing, much less, a difference that’s worth anything. There are 25 in movie history that are considered among the best — not only biopics, but overall movies.

We discussed the best biopics ever and judged them all based on many things to develop this list, not limited to the following:

  • Box Office Numbers
  • Pop Culture Impact
  • Historical Significance
  • Community Influence
  • Acting Chops
  • Cinematic Reach
  • Personal Likeness and Evolution

Here they come…

The Top 25 Biopics of All Time.

Now, we thought about this A-List, and even watched some of these over, including the older ones to ensure the ranking. There will be many that folk believe others should break in the top 25 but this our list, so go get your own. Remember the criteria. Let’s get on with the show.

25. Straight Outta Compton

straight outta comptonThink about all the biopics ever made. Movie houses have been using real-life examples for screenwriting for close to a century. That’s a lot of tape. And Straight Outta Compton, created in 2015, is at No. 25. It’s that good!

What’s so impressive about F. Gary Gray’s skills was projecting this movie from screen to real life. This is hip-hop history. NWA changed the entire genre because they refused to settle — they insisted on bringing where they came from to music with the reality in which they lived. So, a movie about musical history was one big reference to today’s history about race relations. It was poignant and raw. It was everything NWA was on wax and tape. A perfect reflection of its subject matter if ever there was one.

24. The Wolf of Wall Street

wolf of wall street

From the moment this movie began with a trail of nose candy resting in the crescent moon of… well, you know, someone’s moon, The Wolf of Wall Street was a wild roller coaster tale of debauchery and the brighter side of life. Kinda. What many casual movie goers didn’t realize because of the pomp and unrealistic circumstance was this movie was true.

This was Martin Scorsese’s most fast-paced, shameless, and entertaining films, and it based on the autobiography of Jordan Belfort, a broker who made a fortune on shady sales of penny stocks—and spent a fortune on drugs, sex, and other ways to raise a kerfuffle with a few million dollars of excess. Imagine Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing and The Social Network fame writing a script while on a ghetto batch of Molly. That’s three hours of bumper cars while having a stomach full of bad chili. What a complete trip…and some 20-year-old lived it all. Amazing.

23. The King’s Speech

the kings speechMost people would assume a story about King George VI in 1936 and the speech therapist who helped the king seem more regal with his words seems like an artsy-fartsy film during award season that no one will see but critics will adore. And then “normal” people saw The King’s Speech and were mesmerized by the story behind the two men, and the two men (Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush) playing them.

Imagine a country with a leader who sounded like a fool every time he opened his mouth. Now that you see what I did there, that was England during the reign of King George. Much like Christy Brown (see later on the list), this is a man with a message only was lacking the mechanism to get it to the world. He needed help and that beautiful story of struggle, plight, and deep respect was enough to win over his country and win more than 100 achievement in film awards, including four Oscars.

22. Brian’s Song

brian's song

The Chicago Bears have been known for the ‘Monsters of the Midway’ and the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’ But they also were home to one of the heart-wrenching stories in sports history involving the real-life friendship of teammates Brian Piccolo and NFL hall-of-famer Gale Sayers.

This stimulating friendship began where most never live — in the throes of competition and racism. Both Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and Piccolo (James Caan) were vying for the same position, but Sayers was eons more talented. He also had this pigmentation thing working against him in the mid-60s. Then, Sayers suffers a massive knee injury comforted only by the dude he knocked out of a job. So, when Piccolo is riddled with cancer, Sayers turned favor. This was Brian’s Song, and its hymn about life was beautiful.

21. Lincoln

Lincoln-Movie

One of the greatest actors in recent memory led by one of the greatest directors in movie lore telling the story of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. What could go wrong? In the movie of Lincoln, absolutely nothing. The movie should be required viewing for all those cantankerous farts in Congress of the magic that could happen when one strong person reaches across the aisle without fear of revocation.

Daniel Day-Lewis takes an ‘Aw shucks,’ plain-spoken man from Illinois and molds him into a quintessential leader brimming with self-confidence and a willingness to play politics in a fashion that should inspire all 535 elected officials in D.C. who are exactly the opposite. While this film covers the final months of Lincoln’s life leading up the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and an errant evening at Ford’s Theater, his life inspires the rest of us to dare to dream and think about the reality of the man and the realization of his myth.

20. The Fighter

the fighter

Raging Bull (we’ll talk later). Rocky. Million Dollar Baby. Cinderella Man (nope, not on this list, but it was close). What is it about boxing movies that make for such visceral moments while clutching some Twizzlers and a large Coke?! The Fighter is the real life story of Micky Ward,

Many people knew Marky Mark was Calvin Klein beefcake gone action star, but not many movie fans knew he had these kind of acting chops. His portrayal of the junior featherweight was full of the ups-and-downs you would expect of a boxing movie — only this was a somber journey, up until Ward faces the legendary Arturo Gotti (three times). From rags to mediocre riches, The Fighter earned its prodigious company. So did Wahlberg.

19. The Social Network

the social network

“The Facebook” is part theme, part villain in this rapid-fire script and shaky-cam, but The Social Network all Aaron Sorkin and it won three Oscars (including best writing) for a distinct reason. He takes an almost forensic approach to telling this story – how the network was inspired and it was arguably “borrowed.” Doesn’t matter because Zuckerberg won, but the movie did enough to make dude flair up in angst like a bad, untreated case of herpes.

The nexus of Sorkin’s ability to cram 1,000 words of thoughtful copy into three minutes of screen time, and David Fincher’s careful direction to detail regarding the environment, lighting, and mood was a marriage made in a make-believe heaven of a movie studio. (C’mon, this wasn’t The Revenant.) And the baby that came together from this union is nothing short of a must-buy in your own DVD collection. And good luck with the memorization of those lines.

18. Patton

patton

The film never could typecast someone as talented as George C. Scott, but a script and story as demanding as Patton almost did just that. This movie wasn’t only a tour de force thanks to screenplay, featuring Francis Ford Coppola, but also the timing. It’s 1970, the end of the peace-and-love movement and the beginning of a calm from a war-torn nation. And this film still pulls out seven Oscars.

What does it say about a man who is so possessed by war — the fight of another nation, not the protection of his own — that he would think his presence in it makes it complete. “The last great opportunity of a lifetime and I’m left out of it? God will not allow it to happen.” Patton was all man, all hero, and only Scott could pull it off. Oddly enough, another one of the most quoted war movies is Apocalypse Now. Made during the same time and written by the same man. That’s the Dogs of War barking loudly with master class role playing from Scott.

17. Capote

capote

Despite what you think and what you may have heard, Truman Capote was a complex creature — as complex as his profound writing. The guy was besties with Harper Lee, for crying out loud. His scripts for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood are considered among Hollywood’s elite. So, in Capote, we are taken to 1959 when he heard of this murder in Kansas that inspired the legendary script. And, as a result, we fall deep in love with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

That man was a machine. He could do, say, act anything and make you believe it. Hoffman was Capote. People searched YouTube because they couldn’t believe the likeness and idiosyncrasies. The movie spans only six years of Capote’s life, but the near two hours of watching film took a lifetime of learning and discovery. And we enjoyed every minute.

16. A Beautiful Mind

a beautiful mind

John Forbes Nash was a math savant. He was also a man of troubled genius. Codes float in his mind that can be cracked into a world of deep understanding. There’s only one problem — Nash is schizophrenic. That’s the premise of A Beautiful Mind. 

John Nash is credited with developing something called “game theory,” which became a foundation for contemporary economics. That alone would have him archived in history books for millennia; however, during the time he was working on numerical invention, he became delusional and paranoid during the Cold War and ultimately won a 1994 Nobel Prize. This movie is a beautiful journey into the recesses of what motivates a man to reach his own personal liberty. Crowe went from Gladiator to this Ron Howard film and won an Oscar. Twice. What a journey to behold.

15. The Elephant Man

elephant man

Before this continues, yes, that Anthony Hopkins. (There’s nothing he can’t do.) But this movie belongs to John Hurt who plays the unforgettable true story of John Merrick, a legitimate “circus freak” who is on a quest to regain a life of meaning and dignity. The Elephant Man is a moniker given to a man involved in an awful accident in-utero causing him to be scarred with horrible defects. Nonetheless, despite of his grueling visage and despite what it does to everyone around him, Merrick just wants to know what it means to be a man.

David Lynch directs us on a complex journey that is both difficult to watch and impossible to look away. John Merrick was a man who had no reason to escape the shadows because of his appearance, but he had a heart that far outweighed the burden of his condition. When a doctor from London (Hopkins) sees the heart beyond the face, he rescues Merrick from that life to give him one of his own. This movie is every bit of gripping as you would imagine. A true haunting masterpiece.

14. Ray

ray

A biopic involving this musical genius required someone who could exercise a little musical genius himself — that’s Jamie Foxx. His Oscar for Best Actor proves the genius he amassed playing Ray Charles Robinson. He captures what it meant to be blind, thoughtful, conflicted, and inventive with this unbridled passion to make music. He also portrays another side of the legendary R&B icon many didn’t know before Taylor Hackford brought us Ray (and nominated for an Oscar of his own).

Ray Charles was running from many of his own ghosts — being blind in a sighted world, being black in a largely white world. To cope, Ray ran to women, to heroin, and to music. We saw it all and witnessed the power of what happens when someone with a passion to tell a story digs into a role and learns the source. What we were left with watching is a film led by Foxx, inspired by Charles, and solidified what any of us knew about the man, his myth, and music’s legend.

13. Walk the Line

walk-the-line

Speaking of musical legends, in James Mangold’s opus Walk the Line, we see what an actor can do even if he isn’t known for his musical prowess. No one in their right mind thought Joaquin Phoenix would be a perfect casting call for Johnny Cash. And now that we have seen the perfection he created onscreen as the country music icon, we can’t imagine him not in this role.

And while Phoenix was very impressive as Johnny Cash in this film, make no mistake, this movie was all about Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash. She was mesmerizing as she stayed committed to Johnny despite his many personal foibles. She was brilliant when she opened up her mouth to speak into Johnny’s life and sing into ours. This film required two people to give Oscar-worthy performances. It got that and introduced the magnetic voices of both Cashes to a world outside country that hadn’t yet spent a dime on them.

12. Coal Miner’s Daughter

coal miners daughter

There may be another A-List in the future — one that digs into musical biopics. We have discussed two of them, and there is a debate brewing for Coal Miner’s Daughter as the transcendent selection among all of them, for one primary reason — Sissy Spacek, whom Loretta Lynn hand-picked for this role. (BTW, Beverly D’Angelo was no slouch as Patsy Cline.)

Spacek was with Loretta Lynn for more than a year to learn who the Coal Miner’s Daughter was. On tour, at home, in public, and in private. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and Spacek became Lynn, down to her speech patterns and style. Reports of the two singing together on the Grand Ole Opry stage that people couldn’t easily tell which one was singing at any given time. When the artist herself can’t tell you apart from herself, you pretty much got that role down pat. See this movie and learn about a legend.

11. Milk

milk-movie-

In 1977, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States. Later the following year, the neighborhood activist elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was murdered, along with the city’s mayor, George Moscone, by a former city supervisor, Dan White (played wonderfully by Josh “Thanos” Brolin).

Sean Penn’s portrayal of Harvey Milk was a triumph, so much that a few movie goers and critics alike questioned his own sexuality. Really convincing, not only with the intimate sensibility he plays Milk in private, but also the convincing and concise voice he uses to petition for gay rights in public. We see Milk unfold in Penn as we watch the man in the movie evolve from camera store owner to vociferous political catalyst. Once again, an inspirational creature becomes a tragic hero, and this film showed the character arc like a perfect rainbow. (See what I did there.)

10. My Left Foot

my-left-foot-Daniel Day-Lewis has already etched his face on the Mount Rushmore of leading men in film, and possibly began that stone-cutting process with My Left Foot. This is a man who is known for his extreme fashion to prepare for a role. He sees it as portraying “truth” on screen, so he owes it to an inspirational Irish artist named Christy Brown who overcame insurmountable odds by learning to paint with the only limb he had control over not affected with cerebral palsy — his left foot.

There is not a single scene in this movie that you aren’t glued to the screen convinced Day-Lewis has a real ailment because he’s so… well, Day-Lewis. Everyone in the mid-1950s thought Brown was mentally affected because he had no control over most of his abilities. And then, he’s able to grab a piece of chalk with his toe and began to tell the world about his inner thoughts he was dying to express. If you haven’t seen this film, you need to do so. We all have a voice, and even if you are in a world where no one is listening, live like Christy Brown, do like Daniel Day-Lewis, and make them listen.

9. Lawrence of Arabia

lawrence of arabiaFor decades, this movie was the bar for all films in Hollywood — not just biopics. Lawrence of Arabia is the prototype for a “big Hollywood film.” Stellar cast, vistas to make you drool, spanning hundreds of extras, a story that is doctoral dissertation-level good, and a leading man that captures a world with his presence. That was Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, an English officer who united — and led — Persian tribes to fight off the Turkish empire during World War I.

You have Sir Alec Guinness (yes, Obi-Wan), Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer — all remarkable leading men in that time, all took a supporting role just to be a facet in this magnificent story. There is nothing to be said about this film that hasn’t already been said, save one thing — it was made in 1962 and still holds up. All the CGI, all the VFX, all the prosthetic, all the everything — none of it mattered then. The only thing was the story and the art of making movies. This movie is example A of total greatness.

8. GoodFellas

goodfellas

This masterpiece by Martin Scorsese was much more than a brilliant biopic of a lifelong mafioso-gone-turncoat in Henry Hill. This is a movie that reinvented a genre — it broke the fourth wall. Narration throughout and then… he talks to you, sitting in your seat. Goodfellas was so many levels ahead of its time. (Yes, there was Ferris Bueller, but this is everything that movie — which technically did invent that fourth wall demolition — wanted to be.)

Many wonder how Nicholas Pileggi (also the mind behind Casino) could transform his book into a screenplay like that? Easy, he wrote his book that way. And the terrific troika of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta brought them to life in ways other actors could only dream. The fact that it only won one Oscar is one of the greatest crimes of the new decade at that time. Fortunately, its prestige and acclaim have won it so much more in loyalty, quotables, memes, and the respect of millions.

7. Braveheart

braveheartAlthough historically, this was more of a movie than a true tale about a person, there’s no denying the force of nature that Mel Gibson created with Braveheart. Most cinephiles believe this is a Top-10 all-time movie, and they’d be right. This story about William Wallace, a Scottish avenger of the voiceless and captive, was more than a film for many people who witnessed the power of acting. It was an provocative awakening of what it means to stand for something.

And while the movie may have misappropriated his nickname (yes, really), Wallace really was a warrior, a rebel, someone with a passion to live or die for his country because he saw a strength in thousands that couldn’t see it in themselves. His motivation could or could not have been because of a woman, but there’s no denying the power of love he left in his wake. The gore and the grim nature of how these patriots fought for their freedom is muted by Gibson’s supreme acting and directing us all through the life of Scotland’s hero.

6. Schindler’s List

schindler's listLiam Nesson throws out a rod and reel and lures us all into the collection of emotion brought to us by Steven Spielberg and Schindler’s List. Imagine a man so moved by the plight of his employees that he risks his life — and that of his family’s — to save them. This was Oskar Schindler, a man in German-occupied Poland who saw what Nazi persecution was doing to his Jewish workforce. And his acts of selfless heroism told the story only a man of Spielberg’s caliber and Nesson’s skill could tell.

This is a three-hour movie that has you stuck to your seat. You can’t miss a detail. You can’t forget an image. And forget going to the bathroom. This is one of the preeminent stories ever told on film. It’s like a novel peeling over page-to-page with every frame. A Spielberg movie. A John Williams score. A Nesson role of a lifetime. And a story that has to be seen to be believed.

5. Raging Bull

raging bullBefore Sly Stallone made a fictional character the heartbeat of Philadelphia, Robert De Niro made Jake LaMotta’s story one that personified a sport and unveiled the untold stories within it. We have all read the tales of pugilists who use rage in life as fuel in the ring but Raging Bull was by far the most appealing, most distressing, and the most heartbreaking.

Make no mistake, this is not a movie about boxing. It’s about a man who boxes more than opponents but his own demons, and in-between slow-motion sequences and black-and-white stills, we see a struggle of the human condition and a tug-of-war that places a man’s desires over his own well-being. Jealousy, insecurity, and a nasty temper pushes everyone away forcing LaMotta even further into the corner of isolation he feared the most. Watching the movie, you want to help him. Feeling the movie, you begin to understand him. As much as anyone could. That’s the power of this film.

4. The Passion of the Christ

The-Passion-Of-The-ChristWhether you’re a person of faith, or not. Whether you are moved by religion, or not. Whether you think this even qualifies as a biopic, or not (and it does), The Passion of the Christ is a phenomenal film and one that had the world in the palm of its hand. Jim Caviezel has shared stories that even if he didn’t believe in Jesus Christ prior to this movie, he would now because of the power of portraying him and the sheer reality (and sometimes, physical labor) of this movie.

How do you tell a story that has been told countless millions of times already? The words are familiar. The allegories are known. The promises are accessible. You work with the adage, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” That’s precisely what Mel Gibson told Caleb Deschanel (The Right Stuff, The Black Stallion, The Lion King [2019]) to do — tell this tale with imagery. It was rich, tangible, gripping, and evocative. The acting, the score, the emotion — all pulled together like a woven tapestry through imagery to make it life-changing. Fitting for this biopic, don’t you think?

3. Amadeus

amadeusImagine someone who thought they caused your death telling your story in a way that is nearly matchless. That is the sordid tale of Amadeus, as mind-numbing jealous fellow and more contemporary composer Antonio Salieri (the great F. Murray Abraham) takes us by the hand and walks us through the troubled, arduous, and convoluted life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (the surprisingly stirring Tom Hulce).

Much like Braveheart, there was immense creative liberties taken to make this film and tell this story. It does focus on Amadeus. It does pose the dire need to be noticed by one and the dire need to be appreciated by the other. But this movie goes much deeper than maybe the real-life story unveiled. Salieri’s confession of “killing” Mozart is only a salve to calm his soul of guilt post-suicide attempt. And what we get is an orchestra of emotion that never lets up. It’s been said before, so this is a borrowed thought, but although the movie was slated as a biopic, the main character was the music he created as a result of his pain. And if Amadeus doesn’t move you, check your pulse. You’re probably dead.

2. Malcolm X

malcolm xAlthough Training Day and Glory righteously brought Denzel Washington two Oscars, he has never — and will ever — perform better than he did in Malcolm X. From small-thinking gangster to becoming the mind of a generation civil rights leader in the Nation of Islam, there’s no denying Denzel was born to have Spike Lee direct him in this movie. It was a perfect storm and we all were fortunate to watch the waves crashing from scene-to-scene as we see the pages from Alex Haley’s autobiography become a torrent of emotion and ostentation.

This biopic is more of a tribute for a meager man who had no hope of becoming “someone” and ended up — as the movie celebrates in its final scene — that he became “everyone.” That’s the power of one man, one thought, and one passion. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz transformed his life in ways that billions could only imagine, and he did it to serve those he loved most — his family and his people. Malcolm was on a quest as he alludes:

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no man can have peace unless he has his freedom.

That quest is a personal struggle but it became of public plight as Denzel and Lee take us on the journey of a lifetime. After this movie, we are all thankful this life happened.

1. Gandhi

gandhiSpeaking of being grateful for the majesty of a life unharnessed to reach its full potential, the country of India got Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and we got his supremely told story personified by Sir Ben Kingsley and directed by Richard Attenborough.

Gandhi is a movie that goes more than three hours, not because of excess but because there was so much to say about a selfless man who gave his life for a country and his soul for a people.

The movie is acclaimed and awarded for countless reasons (eight Oscars even), but central to this triumphant film is Kingsley. Watching every minute of this film in pensive thought and still quiet is giving it the respect Kingsley’s acting and Gandhi’s story deserves. And to think, it almost didn’t get made. This movie almost didn’t get made. Think about the crime in that. Attenborough has been quoted sharing that story:

“It took me 20 years to get the money to get that movie made. I remember my pitch to 20th Century Fox. The guy said: ‘Dickie, it’s sweet of you to come here. You’re obviously obsessed. But who the f—ing hell will be interested in a little brown man wrapped in a sheet carrying a beanpole?’ I would have loved to have met that guy after the Oscars and told him to f— off.”

We all would toast to that. A man who could drive out the British empire with his words. A nation that could drive out its fear by embracing the man. It was a time in history that this movie needed because without the grandeur of how it was made — from cinematography to acting to direction — we have possibly never know how deserving Gandhi was of praise and veneration.

This movie educates us all in ways none other, biopic or otherwise, can. Period.

‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is Being Sued by Satan

The Sigil of Baphomet. The goat of Mendes. The Nine Satanic Statements. The Luciferian Theosophy. And… The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. 

Wait. What in the literal hell?! 

Yeah, there are all these sardonic symbols that are closely affiliated with the Church of Satan. Not some esoteric quorum of people who dress in black, wear emo eye liner, and listen to guttural mumbling so loud eardrums have been known to explode.

lavey bookThis is an actual 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in San Francisco founded in 1966 by some bald-headed troll named Anton Szandor LaVey.

(See that fun star dumped on its head there? That is called the Sigil of Baphomet — it, being the goat-man in the “pentagram.” And now, all you Thrasher-wearing goths know for your ‘Jeopardy’ night.)

There have been many iterations of this construct, including government recognized covens and spawns of LaVeyian freethought. One of the largest and most official in the country is called (original name alert) The Satanic Temple, which was founded by Lucien Greaves. 

Heaven forbid for a hellbound gaggle of folks not to Netflix and chill from time-to-time. And so it seems, Greaves decided to binge before “[satanic] bible study” one night and saw something that really perturbed the malevolent proselytizer.

So much that he decided to sue the streaming content juggernaut for copyright infringement, according to SFGate.com. 

Seriously. What in the literal hell?!

Netflix adapted the 2014 Archie Comics series for what appears as the most stereotypical, millennial-riddled-with-hate-gone-helter-skelter-to-spite-mom-and-dad TV show in recent years. And while director Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa reaches for every possible symbol seen on a t-shirt found in Hot Topic, it seems his research took him too far.

That statue in the hero image above features a statue of Baphomet, the aforementioned deity the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping, which brought it to infamous status throughout the occult. That evil caste of plaster is actually protected as intellectual property of Greaves’ Satanic Temple. Ergo, the law suit.

So, there’s that. Never mind Greaves’ impressive 11,000 acolytes on Twitter, but Netflix has a paltry 5.3 million followers and its meager 117.6 million subscribers. Sure, that’s nothing compared to the dust Greaves can muster but has the thought never occurred to him of something called “free publicity?!”

Yeah, apparently not.

“It’s deeply problematic to us,” Greaves, who said he’s seen parts of the show, told SFGATE. “(But) even if that wasn’t the case we’d be obligated to make a copyright claim because that’s how copyright works.” Greaves also noted that if the group didn’t make the copyright claim now, it would have a weakened ability to do so in the future. In this instance, he said, “we would have had to send some message.”

So, why the ballyhoo over some paper mache faceted after goat-man? As SFGate.com labels it, “it’s a Satanic Panic.” (Damn, I wish I coined that phrase. Hot Topic would be calling fast.)

“I feel that the use of our particular image that is recognized as our own central icon (being) displayed fictionally as central to some cannibalistic cult has real world damaging effects for us,” he said.

Not so much on the copyright issue as this has become reputation management. While Netflix hasn’t provided a comment yet, you can rest assured one thing — the only thing producers are convinced Greaves’ coterie of “cannibals” eat is raw meat.

And given the money they are doling out for this law suit, you can expect that meat to be more sashimi. Very cosmopolitan now that they’re TV stars. Kinda.

 

‘Overlord’ Boss Julius Avery Blasting Off with ‘Flash Gordon’ Reboot

Say it with me, nerds (or hear it loud and clear)…

FLASH! AHHH-AHHHHHHHHHHH!

Savior of the Universe!

Take a Hans Zimmer score. They average 96% on the #MatrixMeter. But when you think of sci-fi soundtracks — music with songs, words, themes — there are none that hearken memories of running around in your underwear shooting up fake aliens (that may or may not look like your little sister) as you go ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ style over the couch than Flash Gordon. 

Queen is easily one of the most prolific bands in Rock & Roll history. And we will have a review of Bohemian Rhapsody, an A-List of music biopics, and something else coming as a result of Freddie Mercury’s shadow. That notwithstanding, we have an excuse to talk about Mr. Bulsara because of today’s news.

The intriguing Nazi horror flick, J.J. Abrams flick Overlord is ready to hit the big screen November 9. And at the helm of the “Call of Duty: WWII” zombie story-mode movie is Julius Avery, who is making a headline of his own.

Paramount has announced he is writing and directing a reboot of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon! 

vultan

The movie, if you haven’t invested the precious time in your life to see it, was the bomb…wrapped up in some of the most ham-handed visual effects and laughable dramedy acting to hit the screens in quite some time.

But, it had money, an all-star cast (i.e., Max Von Sydow, Topol, Timothy Dalton, Melody Anderson, Sam J. Jones), the legacy of a ’50s TV show and ’40s comic, and oh yeah… QUEEN!

It was destined for such greatness. Then, it came out and floundered at the box office earning $8 million under budget. To date, Metacritic gives it a 58, IMDB says it’s a 65, and Rotten Tomatoes skyrocketed to a meh 82. Yet, this movie makes a nerd’s heart beat and a sci-fi geek’s pulse race. And, did I already mention that soundtrack?!

Evidently, Avery knows all this stuff and is stoked about remaking this paradigmatic space race to the dork beyond. As Deadline quotes:

[Avery] grew up in Australia loving the Flash Gordon comic. He pitched his take and the studio sparked to it and set him.

There’s an obvious aura about this concept based on the 1934 comic of a charmed college athlete turned outer space pulp action hero who screams into space with Dr. Zarkov to save the world from the diabolical Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo.

It was a dull TV show in black-and-white, then it took 30 years to bring it to life in movies. That was the historic moment. Syfy tried to resurrect the voyage into space for TV again in 2007 but it sucked. Badly. And so, it’s back.

Why does a failed movie get so many chances to succeed? Come closer…

Because critics, no matter how they wax eloquent and rant about its thumbs, tomatoes, and observations, aren’t always right. And sometimes are full of more crap than a Christmas turkey!

This movie was every bit as good as an Oscar winner, but for far different reasons. And now, it’s meeting the technology and hype bandwagon of the 21st century! Yeah, this will be a geek paradise in B-movie heaven.

We have Kingsman and Kick Ass maker Matthew Vaughn producing (formerly directing), Thor screenwriter Mark Protosevich scribing, and now Avery helping put his pen to paper and directing.

Now, if only Freddie Mercury was still alive. God rest our loving souls! AHHHHHHH!

#ICYMI: ‘Die Hard’ 30th Anniversary Easter Eggs

What could arguably be the cornerstone for Porgy’s “Cult Corner” is coming back to theaters nationwide for three days only — Die Hard will hit the big screen again for its 30th anniversary, November 11-14, as part of the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) “Big Screen Classics” theater tour.

And if you get some tickets via participating box offices or online at Fathom Events, you will be able to catch the new pre- and post-film commentary by TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. Yes, right there in the theater!

die hardYippee-Ki-Yay, Mother [Trucker]! (C’mon on. It’s a family show. For the children.)

If you are so inclined to see the Christmas classic — yes, Bruce, it will always be a Yuletide greeting to the fans — it’s possible there are some Easter Eggs that maybe you never knew were there in the three decades this movie has been out!

So, go! Enjoy watching the movie that introduced the great Bruce Willis and dearly departed Alan Rickman (this movie was his first feature film).

However, while nestled in your reclining theater seat, sipping on egg nog or holiday cocoa, keep an eye out for the eggs Santa left behind.

Arnold Who? Sly What?

arnold bruceThis is the ’80s when the John McTiernan classic came out. The screen was full of two major muscle-bound dudes–Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s no secret that McTiernan took a chance on a relatively unknown in Willis for this blockbuster action movie. One reason was he didn’t really have a choice. The aforementioned duo passed on the script.

[FUN FACT: The star role was initially offered to Frank Sinatra! No, really. And when he was 73.]

Remember when John McClane was letting Sgt. Al Powell know about the explosives on the roof? He said there was “enough [explosives] to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger.” And previously in the movie when Hans was extolling his foe describing him as “Sylvester Stallone’s one man army.” (Rambo, anyone?)

Yup, intentional (deep) inside jokes. Nice. And not for nothing, McTiernan directed Ah-nuld in the original Predator. 

Hans Wasn’t Original

alan rickmanThis may read as sacrilege for those who believe Hans Gruber is one of the greatest on-screen bad guys ever (present company included) but that’s not the intent.

It turns out McTiernan loves action movies and spy classics, and Die Hard gives two pretty recognizable nods to them.

First, the obvious nod. There’s McClane rummaging up-and-down the stairwell looking for a way to get to Hans. And then, he bumps right into him. McClane asks who he was and Gruber answers (thanks to a directory on the wall of beloved office professionals) “Clay…Bill Clay.” Yeah, that’s 007’s smooth introduction, “Bond…James Bond.”

Now, the not-so-obvious one. Before there was Willis, long before, there was James Coburn. He was the man, and who was going to tell him otherwise? One of his good friends and training partners was Bruce Lee. Back in 1966, Coburn starred in Our Man Flint. In the movie, he fights the forces of evil with this mysterious Galaxy organization. The man in-charge? Hans Gruber.

A Familiar Address

nakatomiThis is one you may have heard because the news went everywhere, well, as viral as it got in the 1980s.

With a movie destined for greatness, the executive producers knew they needed to keep this development close to the vest. So, they decided to keep it at home.

The legendary, all-glass terrordome that became known as Nakatomi Plaza was actually the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. Like the whole building.

In real-life, the building wasn’t finished. In real-life, LAPD’s dispatch screen shows the true address of 20th Century Fox HQ when McClane calls 911 and “orders an effin pizza.” In real-life, renovations needed to happen because those explosions really happened in the building.

The number has changed but the address stays the same.

Our Cuddly Hero

die hard teddy bearThere’s Det. John McClane in JFK, fighting the crowd, to board his plane. Eventually, he would do the same at LAX meandering to his ride, chauffeured by the unforgettable Argyle, played by De’voreaux White.

[FUN FACT: White is also the guy Ray Charles almost shoots for stealing a guitar in The Blues Brothers. You’re welcome.]

Back to the bear. You remember it was a peace offering to his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia). Turns out that very bear is known for spreading joy in another movie, The Hunt for Red October. Another McTiernan classic starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, we meet Tom Clancy’s hero Jack Ryan.

In the movie, after the fanfare and fighting, the threat has been vanquished. But, Ryan shows us all that America has a reason to smile and know everything’s going to be alright. Watch the ending again: Ryan takes a gift with him on the way home–our friend, McClane’s bear.

His Fake Lil’ Piggies

DieHard_2_glassOkay, quick poll: Who has balled up their feet to reduce stress, just to see if it works like we saw John McClane do in Die Hard?

Turns out that habit would come back to haunt him because when McClane bumps into his foe in the stairwell (See ‘Hans Wasn’t Original’), Gruber sees his adversary isn’t wearing shoes.

That’s when the idea strikes him: “Shoot the glass!” That’s real glass, which can get really sharp when fragments are scattered all over the floor. To help protect the movie star, McTiernan gave Willis rubber feet. Ah, the things we do for those we love.

That Look was Real

hans gruber fallWe all know the scene. Just look at that face!

Hans refuses to give up. The battle between McClane and Gruber reaches its climax in the film. And there’s Hans, hanging on to dear life thanks to a trusty little Timex around the wrist of McClane’s wife.

You may not know that Snape did his own stunts. Really! That’s him about to fall to his demise 40 feet below. And he had a three count to prepare. Unfortunately for Rickman, McTiernan told his stunt coordinator to let him go a second early. And that’s the shot in the final film.

Yeah, that’s the look of real “Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.”

 

BONUS: Die Hard: Ultimate Edition DVD

die hard dvdIf you own the Die Hard: Ultimate Edition two-DVD case, you may have missed this one. Put in Disc Two to see the special features. The menu lights up, nice. The theme is Nakatomi Plaza, cool. When you hover on a section, the roof lights up, lovely. Did you know when you press up, it highlights secret lights? Then, press enter to see the explosion. Fun for the whole family.

Merry Christmas. (And shut up, Bruce.)

 

 

 

Why ‘Batman v Superman’ Was Way Ahead of its Time

It’s difficult to return and write about this movie.

Watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (BvS) is part of my daily routine. This film means a lot to me and it’s heartbreaking to know more and more everyday about what Justice League could’ve been. I think BvS Ultimate Edition is the best comic book movie ever. 

Let’s discuss. (And if you want to @ me, I’m right here.)

zack batmanZack Snyder’s impact on comic book movies is huge and it’s sad to see him done with it.

For me, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a Superman story (yes, a true sequel to Man of Steel) that leverages Batman as a villain in it. Snyder borrowed heavily from the source material The Dark Knight Returns and added a little twist to it. He made it better by making Superman the hero and Batman as the one who is wrong.

Today, audiences go to the theaters to escape from the horror of real life. Movies like Deadpool, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Guardians of the Galaxy provide them happiness and joy that most won’t get in real life. While some use certain comedic and fun movies to escape from the real world, I switch on BvS to do so. It gives me immense pleasure, help, and joy every time I watch it.

To understand BvS, you must understand the filmmaker behind it — Zack Snyder.

He teamed up with the Oscar-winning writer Chris Terrio to craft this visually stunning political thriller. Filmmakers like Snyder prefer to make movies where 50 percent of people love it and the others hate it. It’s way better to make a movie where people are still debating the film unlike a movie where one forgets (i.e., don’t give a fuck) just after he or she leaves the theatre.

BvS is a niche and it’s supposed to be one. Did the film lower your expectations? Fuck the expectations. Made you feel terrible? Nah. Did you hate when Snyder deconstructed two of pop culture’s greatest icons, Batman and Superman? I understand.

In the opening scene, we see Thomas and Martha Wayne brutally murdered in front of young Bruce. This is the first time Bruce becomes afraid. That fear returns when a “Super” man flew across the sky in Metropolis. After his parents death, the film goes straight for the big battle between Kal El and Zod. That is, the movie starts by showcasing the fear of Bruce Wayne.

Batman is shown violent and brutal in the film. Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL have crafted a score for Batman that is very harsh, loud, and violent. He is at his worst as a man who thinks he has seen it all but hasn’t.

“Jesus Christ, he branded him!” [Hans Zimmer music Intensifies]

And then, the film focuses on Superman, the hero of this story.

The world sees Superman as a stranger and a threat to everyone. Snyder puts Superman in our world where people are questioning his existence and meaning in this world. As Snyder focuses on Superman, he showcases Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. Lex Luthor has a similar role to Batman in this movie. They both hate Superman (for different reasons) and Luthor proves why he is the smartest man in the DC Universe.

superman-bvs-178122

Both Batman and Superman questioned what they were about to do. Both were unsure about their future. Both were frustrated. And both had to talk to their dads to feel better. (Alfred counts for Bruce.)

“Did the nightmares ever stop?”

“Yeah, when I met your mother, she gave me faith that there’s good in this world. She was my world. I miss you son.”

“I miss you too, dad.”

“You know my father sat me down right here and told me what Wayne Manor was built on.”

“The first generation made their fortune trading with the French–pelts and skins. They were hunters.”

“So falls the house of Wayne.”

Thanks to Ben Affleck’s exceptional acting, Snyder’s visual themes, Larry Fong‘s cinematography, Terrio’s writing and Zimmer’s and Junkie XL’s score, the Martha scene became one of the most beautiful scenes in a superhero movie.

“I’ll make you a promise, Martha won’t die tonight” — Redemption of the Caped Crusader.

“The DC Trinity” appears on screen together for the first time and Superman sacrifices for the world, which inspires Bruce Wayne to unite with other metahumans to protect this fucked-up earth.

Everyday, more and more people love this film after rewatching it. Trust me: Make some orange juice, relax, and watch this movie because Snyder has got so much to tell you through this film. There’s so much more to talk about this movie, so much of Snyder’s brilliant visual story telling, but this is what I’ve got for now.

Until more, see ya!