Movie Season 2017 – Wrap Up

So, obviously, I didn’t see as many movies as I usually do in 2017. This was for A LOT of reasons. (I wasn’t interested in as many, I was trying not to spend money, I was travelling, my day job annihilated my mental health and extra energy.) (We’ll get into the next one at a later date) But I did make it to the Cineplex 15 times and generally liked everything I saw. Even the stuff that most people thought was abysmal. Anyway, let’s go through each ranking

Wonder Woman

I don’t know if this was my favorite movie of the year just because of the symbolism, but God, I loved it. I still love it. I’ve watched it at least 5 times (not the most times I’ve rewatched a movie on this list) and each time, I cry, I laugh, I clap, I swoon. Gal Gadot is wonderful. Chris Pine is wonderful and finally, finally a big screen female superhero was done right and a DC movie captured all the things I like about one of their characters.

The Big Sick

I was going back through movie seasons past and noticed something. There is ALWAYS a good romantic comedy high on my list. THIS GENRE WILL NOT GO SOFTLY INTO THAT DARK SUPER POWERED NIGHT! As I’ve said before, I hope that Emily and Kumail write more romantic comedies. Kumail has said that the actor who most inspires him is Hugh Grant. MAKE KUMAIL THE NEXT HUGH GRANT! Without all of the cheating on his super awesome wife with prostitutes stuff. Obviously.

Coco

Moving, visually stunning, smart, entertaining and culturally specific, Coco delivers on a whole other level than other recent Disney and Pixar stuff.

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

This. fricking. movie. I loved it, I think? I see it’s flaws. I get why people hated it. I did not love it the way I loved The Force Awakens, (case in point, I still haven’t seen it a second time around until this past Saturday, where as with TFA I ran out the next night for round 2.)

Battle Of The Sexes

Emma Stone is really good, and this movie is even better than she is. Sarah Silverman is really really good and that no one is talking about this performance for supporting actress is a travesty.

Dunkirk

I feel like I saw this movie a long time ago and I remember very little of it. I remember liking it though, so yay? 

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I. Love. This. Movie. It’s the one I’ve rewatched the most by the way (usually on planes. It was a Jet Blue selection for both Disney trips this fall…) and it gets better every time. When I considered doing a reranking, it was mostly to move this one up higher. I love it SO SO SO much.

Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2

Better than the first? Maybe. Certainly more emotional, and I actually prefer this soundtrack. (It has Fleetwood Mac!) Christ Pratt has probably never been better than he is in this movie.

The Greatest Showman

OH MY GOD I’M SO BORED!!!

Thor: Ragnarok

When I describe my reaction to this movie, I use the below quote:

Lester Bangs: How do you feel about Lou Reed?
William: I like the older stuff, but now he’s just trying to be Bowie. He should just be himself.

In this analogy, Thor: Ragnarok is Lou Reed, and Guardians of The Galaxy is Bowie. (Also that quote from Almost Famous.)

Justice League

In a world where Superhero movies have endless potential, we get this one…which is absolutely fine and solid, but should be much, much better.

King Arthur: Legend of The Sword

Man am I bummed out that this movie wasn’t a hit. In a BIG way. I liked it a lot.

The Dark Tower

All hail the Crimson King! I recently realized that the most annoying thing about this movie, is that they didn’t give them enough budget to license “Hey Jude.” “Hey Jude” should 100% be in this movie. (And at that, if you’re doing a mash up of the whole series instead of just  The Gunslinger EDDIE AND SUSANNAH NEED TO BE IN IT)

Cars 3

It’s weird that this landed so low, because I really, really liked it. Eh

Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

This movie is garbage. Do not watch this movie. It is bad. And not just because it turns out Johnny Depp is a terrible person. It’s a bad movie all on it’s own.

So that’s this year’s movie season! I hope everyone enjoyed their time of blockbusters and I wish you the happiest of New Years! Movie Season 2018 kicks off on May 4th with Avengers: Infinity War.

To lead up to that! I’m watching the entire MCU. Well, all the movies. Not the shows. We tried that, remember? Didn’t go well. One a week, quick hit rereviews. (With links to the older ones that I have reviewed. Going back to Avengers…) Between that and X-Files being back, the blog should be good and anchored for a while, which will keep us all from losing our grip without any Game Of Thrones this year!

Happy New Year, lots of love!

I Don’t, Not, Like You

Justice League

I spend a lot of time thinking about superheroes. (Obviously). Less lately, but still, a lot of time.

I wonder sometimes if I didn’t think about superheroes so much, if I’d be able to enjoy superhero movies more, which then leads me to believe that it depends on the movie. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Wonder Woman made me think about Grant Morrison, about ambitious storytelling, and about big ideas and superheroes. (In all honesty, I was pretty drunk when I saw that movie. Every other time I’ve tried to watch it, I fall asleep.)

Justice League didn’t make me think about any of that, but, I definitely enjoyed it more than BVS, but this was a fanservice movie, and I’m a fan. This is a movie where Alfred teases Bruce Wayne about having a crush on Wonder Woman. This movie is not for beginners. (Something I also said about Man Of Steel by the way.) There’s too much buried in there, too much history that’s unspoken and hasn’t been laid out in other movies. Too many moments like Cyborg saying, “Boo-Ya” as he hacks a Mother-Box. Too many oblique references to Apokalips, and Darkseid. Too many half asses explanations of Atlantis and Arthur Curry’s life.

But overall, the movie was good, enjoyable, well performed. (GIVE AFFLECK WHATEVER HE WANTS TO KEEP HIM AROUND! HE IS GREAT!) Not a world shaker, but you know, not everything has to be.

Oh, Also, you know Gal Gadot and all of the Amazons are amazing, but we knew this, so, there you go!

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Battle Of The Sexes
  4. Dunkirk
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  6. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Justice League
  9. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  10. The Dark Tower
  11. Cars 3
  12. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers:

Alpha: Puppies! The origin story. No but in reality this movie looks SUPER dumb, but the dogs look cute

I don’t remember any of the other trailers…which does not bode well…

They Do Not Deserve You

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When I was waiting for my car last night on the way home from Wonder Woman, I texted my brother, “Wonder Woman is perfect by the way.” His answer: “Well they took long enough I would hope so.”

I loved this movie. I went in ready to love this movie and it’s perfect and wonderful and I want to hug it and also I want to see it a million times. Aless summed it up, “I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching that movie.”

Patty Jenkins and the team at DC and Warner Brothers have created something really special, and it’s not like they had any pressure on them to do it right or anything. (HAHA) And through a coup of casting Gal Gadot, who I think might actually be Wonder Woman, like hiding out or something, and a singular focus on telling a strong story with defined characters, they cleared the very high bar that had been set for them.

Let’s talk about Gadot. I was in the “Who?” “She’s too skinny.” “I’m not sure about this.” camps three years ago when her casting was announced. But she’s amazing, she understands this character in a way that’s hard to articulate, her every move and word embodies Diana and it’s just so wonderful.

There’s a moment in this movie, the first time we see Diana in Wonder Woman’s costume, where she pushes herself over the top of a trench in Belgium and runs through No Man’s Land, deflecting bullets with her shield and bracelets, taking the fire as the men who follow her chase through to the other side. I was crying the whole time. Happy joyous, “HOLY SHIT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING” tears, streaming down my face. It’s a wonderful moment.

Chris Pine is great in this movie too, which does incredible things with Steve Trevor, who is brave, funny, interesting and DAMN IS THE BOY FINE. I mean, look, I’m not saying the rest of the movie could have been crappy and the scene where he takes a bath and then he and Diana have a conversation about his dick would have mad the whole endeavor worth it, (yes that happens, and yes it’s better than how I described it) and I don’t want to dwell on the fact that the image of him in a fedora walking through the streets of 1918 London, (SWOOON) is my new image of male perfection, but seriously, he’s a very attractive man and has passed Hemsworth to become the third best Chris. (He’s even inching up on Pratt…none will touch Evans though.)

I could keep going on about how much I loved this movie, but I’m just going to say one more thing, this a movie where Bruce Wayne does not appear and it still managed to get across the part of his personality that I like the best from versions other than movies. He finds the original copy of the picture of Wonder Woman with her war buddies, and sends it to her, with a note that reads, “I found the original, maybe someday you’ll tell me your story.” A little bit cranky, but deeply invested in the people he cares about.

Because this movie is perfect.

Rankings!

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  3. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  4. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers

Transformers again.

The extended Dunkirk look was fabulous. Good lord is that movie going to be good. I hope it wins Nolan his Oscar. I kind of don’t see how it couldn’t…though it would be sweet sweet irony if Logan wins.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: How do we make this thing most people love better? Add Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum!

Thor: Ragnorok: *Aless and I practically collapse into giggles on the floor of the theater in anticipation.*

Wonder Woman: A Reflection

Isn’t it amazing? 3 posts in a week, and I wasn’t even in Disney World! (Might I be getting my groove back? I hope so!)

But I thought it was important, with today being the opening night of Wonder Woman, for me to post something today, specifically, what Wonder Woman means to me. A lot of women are probably writing this piece this week. It’s the nerd woman’s version of the “leaving New York essay.”

When I started this blog six years ago, I didn’t really know Wonder Woman. I mean, I knew who she was, I knew her basics, and I hoped to someday see her in the movies. I was still mourning the version written by Joss Whedon with Lauren Graham in mind that we never got to see, but I didn’t know the character well at all.

I had to make a conscious effort to get to know her, as I fell deeper and deeper into nerd life, comics fandom, and specifically, DC Fandom. Unlike her peers, Batman and Superman (They are her peers, by the way. The Holy Trinity of superheroes!) she’s not as around. People don’t know Diana the way they know Clark and Bruce. Hell, most people probably don’t know her name is Diana.

It took a while, but then I found Wonder Woman: Odyssey. There’s something about that book, which is about Diana figuring out who she is, and when I read it, at twenty five, at a huge crossroads in my own identity, it really spoke to me. It was about embracing your past and facing your future all at once and it’s really beautiful.

Odyssey

This also might be why I’m so obsessed with giving her pants…

So after that, I fell in love with Wonder Woman. I read more comics runs. Gale Simone’s being a top favorite, though I’m a huge fan of the first chunk of her New 52 run as well. But I’m a sucker for modernizing Greek Myths. I found myself trying to explain what I loved about her to other people, and I realized, it’s something that I loved about a lot of women I admire in real life too.

Diana is going to get the job done. It might not be pretty, it might be bloody, but she’ll do it. And if she can get the job done without a fight, she will. She leads with her heart, with love and compassion, but she understands that sometimes, it isn’t enough. She’s practical that way.

I’ve mentioned before how watching the trailers for Wonder Woman have filled me, more than anything else with an overwhelming sense of calm, which I understand is a strange reaction, but there’s something deeply comforting about her, that steadies me in a way that other heroes that I love (The founding fathers of this blog, Batman and Captain America for instance) don’t. But today, I find myself feeling more than a little bit anxious.

There’s a lot riding on this movie for people like me. Wonder Woman, the movie, is a referendum on a lot of things, DC’s film initiative for one. But it also feels a little bit like our last chance. Marvel hasn’t begun filming on Captain Marvel yet. Gotham Sirens and Batgirl are equally “planned,” but nothing having yet been executed. Black Widow remains a tease beyond anyone’s comprehension.

If Wonder Woman isn’t a smash, if it isn’t perfect, that’s the end for comic book movies about women. It will be Catwoman and Electra all over again. “They don’t sell,” they’ll say, “no one likes them.”

But then I think about Diana, I think about her courage and her love and what she’s come to mean to me over the past half decade, and I feel calm.

Wonder Woman gets the job done. It’s what she does.

 

Watching Wonder Woman: A Primer

wonder_woman_ver5

So, maybe you live under a rock and you’re wondering, “Hey, what’s this movie coming out this weekend? You know, that one with the lady and the sword?”

Or maybe, you’re like me and you just cannot wait another day for this movie. (Aless and I are going Thursday night.) So, you’re looking for something to watch to hold you over, or introduce you to Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Also known as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

A good a primer as any if the 2009 animated movie. Co-Written by Queen of All Superhero Awesomeness Gale Simone, and starring voice talent like Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson and Alfred Molina, gets you up to date on Diana’s traditional origins, as well as having a really cool battle in the streets of Washington D.C.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 1-3: “Secret Origins”

Meet the Justice League as they join forces. Diana leaves home here and it’s a fun alternate origin for her. Plus it has a really great scene where she is baffled by a department store.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 14 & 15: “Fury”

Diana and Sheyara (Hawkgirl) team up to save Themyscira from a rogue Amazon, and while I don’t remember the episode in detail, I believe this is the one where Hawkgirl makes fun of Wonder Woman for being a virgin, which is why I included it. Also, I like watching ladies team up to fight other ladies.

Justice League: Season 2: Episodes 7 & 8: “Maid Of Honor”

While this episode is a big ol step in the Wonder Woman/Batman ship that I hate so very much, it is also a Diana spotlight episode that comes as close as any non comics anything to confirming Diana’s bisexuality. (Although Gal Gadot has stated that Diana in the films is. SQUEE!) It’s also really, really good.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 4: “Hawk And Dove”

Diana fights Ares. This is important because Ares as an enemy is pretty important to the overall mythos of Wonder Woman, and this is definitely the only time in JL or JLU that it happens…I think.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 5: “This Little Piggy”

OK, so Wonder Woman isn’t actually in this episode much, and it showcases the dreaded ship, but it’s also a really fun episode, where she gets turned into a pig. And then Batman has to save her by singing a song for Cersi. It’s great, and Kevin Conroy croons “Am I Blue?” Also, Zatanna is in this episode a lot and so it showcases both of Aless’s top cosplays. (Also, I know it’s one of her favorites and she’d be mad if I didn’t include it.)

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 18: “The Balance”

Diana learns her heritage, and also she and Hawkgirl make up after having a fight. And that’s where this picture, that is my favorite comes from.

Wonder Woman Sword

SWORD!!!!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Grand Total of 20 minutes or Whatever that have Wonder Woman in Them.

I went on HBO go last night and fast forwarded through the boring and kind of terrible rest of the movie and just watched Wonder Woman’s parts, and they are great. I would never suggest anyone watch the whole movie, but just watch the Wonder Woman parts. Gal Gadot is awesome and she and Affleck are good together. (I am less opposed to this ship here. I hate it in the DCAU, however, I WILL ALWAYS HATE IT!)

I’ll be back on Friday after seeing the movie. Guys, I’m really excited for this one. Who’s ready for the

Looking Ahead

So, I don’t know exactly what this blog will look like in 2017, beyond The Defenders stuff that I already have planned and the returns of Game of Thones and Once Upon A Time respectively.

HAHAHAHAHA

I’m kidding, 2017, like the year, is going to be almost exclusively dedicated to hype for Wonder Woman and Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Who’s the main villain in Wonder Woman? Will Diana and Steve kiss? Will the movie actually be worthy of her? Will this finally shut everyone up about whether women can carry a blockbuster? Will Bruce Wayne appear? Will this spark a boom in World War I type looks in fashion, like I always hoped Downton Abbey would? Will Diana’s bisexuality be addressed?

Who are Rey’s parents? What’s Snoke going to do to complete Kylo Ren’s training? Will Poe and Finn get together? Will Luke have lines in this movie? Will the absence of Harrison Ford create a large charisma black hole that none can fill? Will Ewan McGregor appear as Force Ghost Obi-Wan?  (Thus providing a small portion of the plug in the charisma hole) Will Adam do something stupid in the final season of Girls that will cause me to be unable to take Kylo Ren seriously as a villain? (This is almost guaranteed.) Will this finally shut everyone up about whether women can carry a blockbuster? Will Rey lose a hand? Will Rey get a new light saber? Will BB-8 continue to be the cutest? Will Captain Phasma have a plot function? Will I cry every time that Carrie Fisher is on screen. (Obviously)

Also, in actual practicality terms, I am cutting back here. I’m only going to post 3 or 4 days a week.

Monday: Movie Post Season/Once Upon A Time/Game of Thrones

When Once Upon A Time comes back, Movie Post Season will shift to either Tuesday or Thursday, based on when I have time to watch and write up the movies. Then we’ll be about into Movie Season, which because of Defenders, will get similar treatment, usually Tuesdays, until Once ends again…but you get the idea.

Wednesday: I’ve decided to watch Felicity, two episodes a week will bring us right up to well,  something else…but after One Tree Hill, I like being in touch with that side of my nerdiness, and I think Felicity is a good way to get going, especially since I’ve never watched the whole thing, only an episode here and there. Expect frequent, “Crystan says…” moments in this one, as I know it’s one of her all time favorites.

Friday: Defenders, we’ll get into Jessica Jones tomorrow. I’m very excited to revisit it. Daredevil season 1 did not hold up under week to week scrutiny like I thought it would, but by all accounts Jessica Jones is the best of the lot, so we shall see.(I know Daredevil season 2 is going to be kind of a shit show. Luke Cage will hopefully work out)

I am leaving that fifth day to every once in a while squee about something huge. Which, if we’re honest will most likely be Wonder Woman or Star Wars news, images and trailers. Because I mean, we’ve been doing this for almost five years, there’s no reason to lie about it now.

 

Everything’s Going To Be Alright, Wonder Woman Will Save Us

wonder_woman_1

I know it’s election day. I haven’t voted yet, I’m going after work. But with a few very key exceptions, I don’t write about specific political events here  so we’re going to talk about something tangential.

Today, I want to talk about Wonder Woman, I want to talk about hope, and I want to talk about that trailer.

First of all, if you haven’t watched the new Wonder Woman trailer, head on over and watch it. It’s beautiful. Ordinarily when a new superhero trailer shows up I wind up flailing, or crying, or squeeing or some combination of all of those.

Not this time. I watched this trailer and I was excited, but mostly, I felt calm. I felt hopeful, and felt like everything was going to be alright. And then, I got even more excited because I think that’s how Wonder Woman is supposed to make you feel.

I want different feelings from different supeheroes, but from Wonder Woman, I just want a sense that everything is going to be fine, because she’s going to take care of it.

And if nothing else, this trailer reminds us that as women, with her as our representative (and we’ve had worse) it’s our job to get out into the action and get shit done. She protects her home and her world, because she can. She goes over the top in the trenches of World War I, she walks into a fancy party in a ball gown with a sword down her back.

It’s up to us to get shit done. It’s always been up to us, and this trailer, and what I want from this movie is a reminder of that.

Next summer can’t come soon enough. We need this.

Tomorrow can’t come soon enough. We need that too.

Cosplay Corner: Wonder Edition

Hey everyone! In honor of the Wonder Woman trailer, (and some history made in politics, but we’re not getting into that here…) I decided that this week, I’d dive into Wonder Woman cosplay stuff. Now, Wonder Woman isn’t in my general stuff. Mostly because it’s one of Aless’s favorites, so she tends to lean into it.However, I have done Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark, Young Justice) and may do her again sometime.

It’s a fairly easy costume and it turned out really well. I wore a pair of red yoga pants that I owned already. I bought a black leotard with a turtleneck, and I ironed on the gold WW symbol, I bought the DC Bombshells Wonder Woman accessories, and a blond wig. I also wore Jazz sneakers, which are my favorite shoes in the world, because for people with normal feet, they force your feet to arch, but if you’re a high arched freak like me, they just fit your natural shape. I used to use them for dance auditions, now I use them to actually be comfortable at comic con.

 


Anyway, the leotard fell apart almost immediately which is why I’ve never worn it again. (I’m also not nuts about the wig, to be frank…)

Closet Cosplay

I did a quick Closet Cosplay of Wonder Woman at Wizard World Philly, but that was with the Wonder Woman accessories set, and that’s no good for work, and as we’ve discussed, these are all supposed to be work appropriate.

So, I threw together some other accessories. Jeans, and red tank top make for a good base. (Red Tee Shirt, will also work, I don’t have one of those though…) I also have this gold and black sparkly belt, which is my lasso of truth for the day. I’m wearing a bronze headband, and two similar silver bracelets. I’m Wonder Woman.

So that’s what’s going on this week with cosplay. Next week I have some cool stuff coming up, and I really am planning on pushing through this feature until after my birthday.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Oh God, it’s been forever.

Hey all, I didn’t really get a post together for today, and I realized it’s been quite a while since I chatted up Things I’m Obsessed With

So, here we go!

  • All of The DC trailers from Comic Con last weekend. Wonder Woman looks great. Justice League looks fun. Aquadrogo seems to work and I thought that Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck flirting was the best part of BVS so you know, there’s that. Overall I’m psyched, you’ve got me DC…though it’s not quite on the level of…
  • The Defenders, OHMIGOD OHMIGOD YOU GUYS! Seriously, the five or six times I watched it, plus every time I think about it I start singing. Luke Cage also looks awesome. I’m looking forward to it.
  • Willfully ignoring the National Political Conventions. I think that one speaks for itself.
  • Cosplay, cosplay, cosplay. I have the house to myself this weekend, so I’m going to try to get some work done. I actually am most focused on Brooke, even though the party isn’t scheduled yet. I found one kind of reasonably priced uniform on E-Bay, but it’s in Australia, so shipping would destroy “reasonably priced.” More on that tomorrow. But I bought pom-poms, so, I guess I’m committed to this. (To quote my sister, “you ask everyone to go all out for this party, you have to put some work into what you’re wearing.” Also, she’s trying to get a group together to do the Atomic County versions of the characters from The OC, so she just wanted an excuse to not do Gossip Girl)
  • Ballers season 2. Ok, not actually obsessed, because that would require thinking about Ballers, and that just ruins the fun. But I am watching it. They did do a scene about “Leaning In,” and my mom and I were impressed and aghast.
  • Disney Planning! I’m in a bit of a holding pattern because the hotel is booked, but I’ve got a month before I can do dining reservations, but that hasn’t stopped me from reading, and looking at table seating times and figuring out where and when we want to be at restaurants, plus estimating what the park hours are going to be…well, you know, there’s stuff to deal with.
  • SHOW TIME! My show opens next weekend! You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown! If you’re in North Jersey you should come! It’s a great show and a wonderful cast, and I’m really, really psyched about it.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m gonna finish this year, I’m happy about it. My piece needs a LOT of work, but I’ll make my word count.

 

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: On Ambition

batman-v-superman-trinity

As the final push into Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was made, and I finished up season 2 of Daredevil,  I found myself wondering if the movie would feel too much like a Frank Miller comic book. Not that I would mind, I like a lot of Miller’s work, but after 13 episodes of what felt like Miller’s world, I wasn’t sure I wanted a movie of it.

And there is absolutely no way to deny that Miller’s DNA is all over the movie. But he’s too deeply engrained in Batman as we know him now to be erased. So that’s all there, the “sons,” the clunky epic speechifying, the brutal violence, it’s all there.

But as I sat back and watched, I realized that this didn’t feel like a Frank Miller story at all. It felt like a Grant Morrison story and for that reason, I was able to sit back and enjoy it all the more, because I don’t love any comic writer the way that I love Morrison. (And that includes Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gail Simone…I adore them, but Morrison is something different.)

Like a Morrison story this movie is ambitious, heavy, nonsensical at times, full of on the nose symbolism, and sort of impenetrable to newbies. It’s also very messy, which is not really an accusation you can hurl at Morrison, but I mean in spirit.

Elements of the movie are perfect. Affleck is great. I did go in rooting for him, but that means that if he’d been bad I would have been really disappointed. (Hello, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller in Fantastic Four…) He’s such a solid choice for this role, and we get to see things we’ve never really seen on screen. (BRUCE IN THE LAB!!!!)

The thing that made both Aless and I happiest is that we skip the Lois and Clark relationship drama. They’re together. They’re a team. That’s it. The end. There are issues, she isn’t sure he should risk the innocent lives that seem to fall around Superman for her sake. He can’t bring himself to not save her. Honestly, if it weren’t for the music and desaturated color scheme the scene where Superman saves Lois in the first twenty minutes would have been absolutely perfect.

Gal Gadot and the energy she brings to Wonder Woman is amazing. The story comes to life with her and she’s the impetus for Bruce to actually do him some sleuthing. Also, how good Gadot and Affleck look together has even brought me around to Bruce/Diana shipping. (You may recall, I have some opinions on that score…) Her movie is going to be SICK, because she owns Diana.

The Doomsday fight is fine, if unnecessary, the movie would have been streamlined by simply having the Luthor storyline, which involves him manipulating Batman and Superman to fight each other. (In fact, the final fight only happens because he kidnaps Matha Kent and tells Supes that she’ll be killed if he doesn’t kill Batman.) This is a good contrivance, and while the potential fridging of Martha is dangerous, it’s worth it to create a new framework for the smackdown. But without Doomsday they would have needed another reason for Wonder Woman to suit up, so there’s that.

The Justice League set up is probably the best part of the movie, including a brilliant reveal that I won’t spoil.

Batman v Superman isn’t a great movie. It’s either an adequate movie or an ambitious and interesting failure and I can’t decide which yet. Parts of it remind me of Iron Man 2, in the bad way, but in the end it’s worth it to see the Big Three on screen together.

Jesse Eisenberg is a huge disappointment. Or maybe the script. Either way, I’m not into weird crazy Luthor. The only time Luthor should feel unhinged is when there’s rage happening. Otherwise he should hold it together.

Overall the movie has more good than bad for me, but I can’t really recommend it to people who don’t really love these characters and aren’t overly attached to a particular version. It’s a specific niche, but a worthwhile one. It did set up an interesting world, and honestly, I think the other films, which are out of Snyder’s peculiar control (The Ben Affleck/Geoff Johns helmed Batman solo movie in particular) should be really good.

Look, if it means a lot to you to see Batman and Superman punch each other, get your butt to the Cineplex. Because that definitely happens here.