Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

A perfect stepping stone for the DCEU and the Justice League. Sofistication and popcorn action in a perfect mix.

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There is so much i wanna say about this movie, but i am going to be as spoiler-free as possible for my readers sake who hasn’t seen the movie. With that out of the way:

I would put Batman v Superman in terms of sheer epicness, anticipation and comicbookness on the same level as The Avengers and The Dark Knight. There are not many comicbookmovies that will match “BvS”in terms of sofistication, screenwriting and acting, the only one i can think of is Watchmen.

The writing in Batman v Superman really stepped up its game since Man of Steel (which i absolutely love) and Chris Terrio really shows of his talent as a screenwriter – the nerve is there, the tention between Clark and Bruce and he managed to produce some great stuff for Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor who in my book stole the show together with Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot.

The story of Man of Steel flows very well into Batman v Superman where the human population is split about how to procieve Superman after the destruction in Metropolis when Superman fought against General Zod – Is he a threat or a savior? Henry Cavill plays the part of a conflicted Superman perfectly and does it much better than in Man of Steel. He conveys so many emotions and we can truly see his struggle with the fact that the human race doesn’t trust him.

While Jesse Eisenberg might have been a controversial casting for Lex Luthor at the time when the movie was in development, that doesn’t compare to the enormous backlash from “fans” that Ben Affleck got when he was cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne. And let me tell you this: Ben Affleck is the best on-screen Batman. Ever. He embodies every single thing that makes Batman and Bruce Wayne so compelling, he got the Bruce Wayne persona perfectly, he fights like in the comicbooks/animation/Arkham-games and he his grumpy, angry, brutal and cynical just like Batman is supposed to be portrayed. All cred to Christian Bale but he pales in comparison.

I must also talk about Gal Gadot and her portrayal of Wonder Woman and i shit you not, the entire theater was applauding and sheering when she made her entrance, it was 100% fangasmic. She will define this role just like Christopher Reeve did with his portrayal of Superman. My hype for her own standalone movie slated for release next year just skyrocketed.

There are several easter-eggs and cameos in the movie that hints toward the Justice League without it being forced and i really liked that and it didn’t make the movie feel crowded like many feared it to be. The soundtrack is amazing but i must say that the sound in some instances was to loud but overall a fantastic soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Mad Max-composer Junkie XL. I did see it in IMAX-3D it was packed with fans and other moviegoers.

So my closing thougts.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is everything i wanted it to be and it delivered on every level – Superb acting from the entire cast, great VFX and sound design plus it’s pure fanservice which i don’t mind.

I will give it 4,8 of 5! 

Go and see it – NOW!

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//Markus Mattila

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Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

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Before i review this i just want to tell you guys who don’t know this character that this is not the typical family friendly X-Men or Avengers movie. This is a hard R-rated movie with gore, blood, nudity, sex and swearing.

With that said.

I love this movie, i have never laughed so hard in the theater like i did with Deadpool. It is hysterical but it’s a love story at it’s core. Everyone in this movie are well casted, Ryan Reynolds are born to play this role and i may consider this the definitive version of Deadpool, TJ Miller is great as Weasel, Morena Baccarin kills it as Vanessa (Wade Wilson’s love interest) and Ed Skrein is a great villain in Ajax.
The fourth wall breaking jokes are all there and every joke lands perfectly and we get a lot of jabs and references to previous X-Men films and Ryan Reynolds movies (Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and the best Stan Lee cameo yet.

I can’t recommend this movie enough, Deadpool is one of the best comicbook movies that have come out for the last 10 years.

I’ll give it 5 chimichangas of 5!

 

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Spoiler-free)

“A long time a go in a galaxy far far away…”

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Right at that moment i felt that i was home again, i had tears of joy in my eyes already when the Lucasfilm-logo showed up and it sure was one of my all-time favorite theater-experiences. If not THE best movie-experience I’ve had in years.

Performances and actors

First of i wan’t to say bravo and congratulations to J.J Abrams who directed this movie and it really shows how much of a Star Wars-fan he is. From small obscure details to scenes that pays tribute to previous movies in the saga (particularly the original trilogy). We have Han Solo , Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker back in this movie with new faces such as Ray (Daisy Ridley), Finn, (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and these new characters are welcome additions to the Star Wars-franchise i really enjoyed and was bought into the chemistry between Rey and Finn. It felt genuine (not like the stale performances in the prequels), that goes to everyone in this movie. All of them brought their A-game and we will see more of John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in the future. Mark my words.

Special effects and production values:

The special-effects were specatular and they perfectly blended practical stuff with CGI and not like the prequels where most of the environments and many characters were CGI. But there is one short scene that felt a little bit out of place. And the soundtrack was fantastic, some tracks was re-used from the original trilogy but it didn’t matter – it hit the right emotional and nostalgic spots for me.

This is a hard piece to write because i don’t want to spoil anything for you who haven’t seen the movie yet, but there are some shocking moments that i’m still thinking about 3 days later (i saw it on friday in IMAX 3D, my first IMAX-experience and our only IMAX-screen here in Sweden).

To sum it up.

The prequels is just a vague memory.

The force was very strong in “The Force Awakens”. And i got ‘A New Hope’ for the Star Wars-saga.

I will give it a score of 9,7 of 10.

 

Spoiler-free Review: Ant-Man (2015)

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The story is quite well-written, and uses the character of Ant-man in many amusing ways. For you who do not know anything about Ant-man, the character foremostly has the ability to shrink himself to the size of an ant. With such an ability, it is possible to create intresting and creatively written scenarios. This creativity is something that is noticeable during the whole movie. The majority of the characters in the movie are well-written and suit their respective roles in the story very well. There were, however, a few that could have used some tweaking.

One of them was the antagonist (played by Corey Stoll), who felt somewhat one-dimensional. The other character who could have used some better writing (played by Michael Peña) is written in such a way that I can easily understand if people of the same etnicity as the charater take offence. Ant-man as a character lead to a lot of laughs in the theatre (although often at his own expense), but it can be discussed wether such a character is suitable for a film that is supposed to be family-friendly. If this had been a movie supposed to be watched by the same audience as Neighbours, The Dictator of The Pineapple Express, the question would be an easy one.

The majority of the actors did very well, with the possible exception of Corey Stoll. That might also be because the character as such is not very well written.

Ant-man is a film I recommend to those who are into superhero moies, no matter what publisher. Furthermore, I recommend this movie to those who would like to see a new twist on classical heist movies (such as Ocean Eleven or Tower Heist). In conclusion, I was very content with this move and will gladly watch it again.

//Isak Wolff

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Review: Man of Steel (2013)

What is there to say abut his movie that haven’t been said? Man of Steel to me is a Superman-movie done right. I did enjoy Superman Returns from 2006 but it lacked something that made it less enjoyable than it could have been. Bryan Singer tried to hard to replicate the spirit and feeling from Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) and it confused many moviegoers – was it a reboot or was it a continuation of Superman II (no i don’t count the third and the fourth movie)?

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Man of Steel avoided this thanks to it being a complete reboot to the Superman franchise just like Batman Begins was a reboot of the Batman franchise as a reaction to the disaster called Batman & Robin (1997).

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Man of Steel is a wonderful retelling of Superman’s origin and it also expands the lore and ecology of planet Krypton where the movie takes place the first 15 minutes, and we also get a much younger Kent-couple than in the original Donner-films. The screenwriters where very smart when they constructed the narrative around Superman’s upbringing in Smallville by using flashbacks like in Batman Begins instead of linear storytelling. A more time efficient way to tell origin stories.

The acting in is top-notch and i think Henry Cavill really embodies the spirit of Superman which are very true to the comics and he also have the body for the character. He buffed up a lot for his role. Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon – everybody brought their A-game.

The SFX and soundtrack where simply spectacular and i was blown away with all the fights (Finally we got a Superman than can throw a punch!) and the overall look to this movie, you can tell it’s a Zack Snyder movie with some hints of Christopher Nolan (Who was an executive producer). The soundtrack of this was fantastic, i think Hans Zimmer have outdone himself with this soundtrack. I have played it on repeat the last 2 years and it still holds up. Fantastic scoring by Hans Zimmer!

With all the praising done i should now talk about some downsides to this movie and there are some minor gripes that i have to address: Some of the fights can be very drawn out and it sometimes feels that the movie is ending but quickly transitions to a fight scene. That’s really my only negatives about the movie.

I really think that Man of Steel is a fantastic movie in it’s own right and shouldn’t be compared to Superman II all the time.

Man of Steel is one of the greatest superhero-flicks to date. One you shouldn’t miss out on and it’s a great starting point for the DC Cinematic Universe.

//Markus Mattila

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Review Time: Spawn (1997)

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When the Mercenary Al Simmons (Michael Jai White) is betrayed and murdered, he comes back to life, as a soldier of the devil. Later on, he discovers something that forces him to make a choice between heaven or hell.

So, what is the story like? It is a revenge story like The Crow, but containing some of the madness of Beetlejuice. Sometimes, it does have me hooked, but other times scenes felt either rushed or entirely pointless. However, I would like to point out that I loved the dark atmosphere that the movie managed to create.

The effects are somewhat like the movie on its whole. Some of them are fair for when the film was made, while others feel dated even for that time. The acting in this movie is acceptable, except for John Leguizamo. Leguizamo’s acting is too much over the top (reminiscient of Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending) to be taken seriously in a movie like this.

I would recommend this movie to someone who is looking for a film like The Crow but containing more colorful (literally speaking!) characters. I’m glad I watched this film, but it remains to be seen wether I will ever do so again.

I give Spawn a 5/10

//Isak Wolff

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