Why I love Batman vs Superman?

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Source: Batman vs Superman Official FB Page

Before, the only comic superheroes I was a fan of were the X-Men. I watched the cartoon series, read some of the comics and was ecstatic when the movie franchise came out. After a series of failed super hero movie franchises which I won’t mention anymore, the genre has once again boomed with Marvel’s success with their Marvel Cinematic Universe. A success that the DC Cinematic Universe hopes to follow.

But the two are different as what the Batman vs Superman movie would show you.

After becoming a fan of the DC Universe through watching the current series of  Gotham, The Flash and Arrow, I know that I would expect a serious and dark movie. After all, Man of Steel was bordering on boring and the Batman series of the recent past were all dark.

So the lack of humor was not a surprise for me. Critics said it made the movie boring and some writers I read said they were able to sleep at the first part of the show. They criticized the film for having an action-packed sequence only towards the end.

The movie was also criticized for not having overarching story lines and for the character expositions to be really poor. I overheard someone say she was disappointed because Wonder Woman appeared out of thin air without her usual transformations (I guess she was accustomed to the old depictions of Wonder Woman).

I also read a criticism that said the movie should be called something else because the title was a misnomer. It wasn’t Batman vs Superman. It was Batman and Superman vs Doomsday. Another critic said the mere mention of Batman’s mother’s name as being the catalyst to stop the fight and have the two superheroes acting as BFFs was absurd.

For me, it’s all these criticisms that are absurd!

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Source: Batman vs Superman Official FB Page

I guess for someone not familiar with the DC Universe and expecting long explanations of why things are happening then they would really be disappointed. The movie forces you to think outside the screen, read between the sequences and understand why something is happening.

I perfectly understood why the African crisis had to happen. For me, that didn’t need any additional exposition. It was the catalyst for why the opinion of Superman was divided. It helped in the framework of the movie that here was a guy with super powers wanting to do good but his superpowers actually cause harm as he does good. Where can you see someone destroying buildings as he tries to destroy the enemy? Superman isn’t really that super. He’s just a really strong alien who needs Batman’s tactics in order to be more effective.

I love the discourse about whether someone like Superman should be regulated and the debate within Superman if he is doing the right thing. It shows that the guy is human and despite his super powers is someone who didn’t ask to become a hero. He was simply inherently good and wants to do good inside but like most people, sometimes doing good without proper wisdom will mean causing harm to others.

I perfectly understood why Batman had to be obsessed with killing Superman. And why he acted the way he did. His sole goal is to save his city – keep it safe. He’s a vigilante so he doesn’t want to be perceived as a hero, only as someone the criminals are scared of. Obviously, someone with super powers who seems to do more harm than good in his quest to be a hero must be tamed (or even put out).

I love how Batman’s ingenuity and resourcefulness was shown despite him fighting a super human – someone he clearly cannot battle defeat – not without his schemes. I applauded inside as Batman’s careful planning – his traps and what-nots – lured Superman and led him to have the upper hand. I can hear Oliver’s (Green Arrow) words about a fight being all about control and understanding your surroundings.

I know why the movie was titled Batman vs Superman – because that was what the movie was really about. It was about the world – and those who claim to protect it – understanding what a super human can do. Batman was the epitome of the world who wants to control what it cannot understand. When the legal way become impossible, then the vigilante brand of justice had to be exacted.

I love how Wonder Woman appeared, how her powers were shown in the battle and how it left me hanging and excited for when those powers – and her character – will be explained in due time. There is a reason why her movie will be an origin one unlike those of The Flash and Cyborg which will begin in the present day. As someone who watched the old Wonder Woman movie, seeing her powers in action during the battle made me ohh and ahh as I remember in my mind what each of those can do.

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Source: Batman vs Superman Official FB Page

Every time Lex Luthor appeared, I wanted to cringe and punch him in the face. I didn’t like the guy and his insane antics not to mention his schemes. A friend hated him for being whiny. I don’t recall the Lex Luthor of the old Superman movies (just that he was a much older guy) so I don’t know how he should have been portrayed. But if the goal was to create an irritating villain, Jesse Eisenberg definitely delivered.

I am not so sure I can agree to see a Flash that is not Grant Gustin but I’ve come to accept that the Ezra Miller version of the Flash will be a different portrayal from the Flash in the TV Series. Whether I will like him as the Flash is yet to be seen.

Down to the last scene – which I won’t spoil – I was watching at the edge of my seat, excited for something to happen be it in the current movie or in the next one.

Despite having read countless reviews and to an effect spoiling the movie for myself, I still went in to watch it in the big screen and felt every peso I spent worth it. The thrill was real – in fact more real than what I feel watching Marvel’s movies. My heart beat raced in more than one occasion and my mind shot fireworks as I understand each sequence more and more.

It was an amazing movie and I’m proud to say I loved it. It’s one of the best movie I’ve watched in the big screen and I am excited for the next installment which will be Suicide Squad showing in August 2016. I just hope they don’t try to push Suicide Squad to be more like a Marvel movie (I’ve heard they were re-shooting to add more humor after the criticism of Batman vs Superman).

So if you haven’t watched the movie yet, do yourself a favor and go see it in the big screen. Not from some pirated DVD (which sadly I saw was being sold as I crossed an overpass after watching the movie). It’s totally worth it to experience in the big screen.

Go there devoid of expectations despite having read so many reviews like this one. Then form a verdict for yourself.

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Source: Batman vs Superman Official FB Page

 

morbid bytes

The people at home always accuse me of being morbid to a fault. I cannot really fathom how I find gory films and scenes rather funny. It’s not like I have some murderous tendency or that I really enjoy these kind of things in a real life. Yet I discovered than I find these scense funny where others find them icky and disturbing. I can even watch them before I go to sleep and not have a single nightmare about them!

I first discovered this when I was rummaging in my brother’s files and found video clips of Happy Tree Friends. It was about 4am and I was using a headset to watch the videos. Next thing I knew, my mom was beside me – she was checking if I was alright because apparently my giggles and snickers had woken her up. My sibs were appalled that I found the videos utterly funny when they were so gory! A sample is shown below.

Warning: Contains really gory scenes. May not be suited for very young audiences or those with weak stomachs.

 

And yesterday that uncanny fascination of mine was again reflected when I selected Sweeney Todd as the movie we were to watch before turning for the night. Of course no one had any idea how gory the film was. When it was time for bed, my sister was sort of reluctant she watched the film eventhough she liked Johnny Depp as an actor. There was too much blood for her taste. But as for me, I was just giggling and snickering in delight at the film’s utter beauty.

Here is its official trailer:

And here is one of the most gory scenes in the movie:

Warning: There is so much blood and gore in this part so don’t watch it if you cannot stand such scenes. Also the quality is not that good but this is what I’ve managed to get.

 

Apart from the gory scenes, the movie’s story is really good. I hope I can watch the original Broadway play. 

By the way, have I also mentioned that I’ve immensely enjoyed the films 300 and Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2? For what reasons, I think you can guess. 😉

Art Films and the Pinoy Moviegoer

Brillante Mendoza, a Filipino independent film maker, recently won as Best Director in the much acclaimed Cannes Festival. World famous directors like Quentin Tarantino, (I believe of Kill Bill fame), gave him a deafening standing ovation for his film “Kinatay” about the gory murder of some sex worker. Yet, when he arrived in the country’s national airport, no airport officials gave him any pompous welcome and the media who was suppose to interview him, almost missed their cue. He shrugs that he is used to the little attention he gets in his country. Afterall, the average Pinoy does not really appreciate art films. When asked if he would commercialize his award-winning piece, he states that he would rather have his film shown in university theaters to serve as inspiration for budding film makers. He hopes that time will come when the average Pinoy will wake up from the fantasy world offered by films now a days and instead patronize films reflecting the reality of life.

 

Brillante Mendoza, Award Winning Independent Filipino Film Maker
Brillante Mendoza, Award Winning Independent Filipino Film Maker

 

 

I am no big fan of indie films but I watch them whenever I have the opportunity. And back in UP, there are lots of opportunities to watch independent films, that is, if you can free your schedule for their screenings. None the less, I know why these films would never capture the interests of the average Juan dela Cruz. They reflect his daily life. Juan watches the movies so he could temporariy forget the reality of where he is at. So he could forget that he needs to sweat his brow doubly tomorrow because Jr. is sick and his eldest will be entering high school now. He watches movies so he could forget that he lives in a rickety shanty beside a smelly, trash infested creek. He watches movies so that he could forget that he is due to pay some debt he had incurred trying to gamble his luck in the local jueteng or sabong or whatever game of luck there is. Juan watches the movies so for once he could forget the reality of his life now.

(excerpts from the award-winning film, Kinatay)

And because of this, the movie industry is all to happy to oblige. It churns out, year after year, the same movie plots about comedic families beating all odds to happiness; fairy tale lands filled with magical creatures both good and bad; superheroes fighting super villians; love stories where lovers meet, encounter difficulties then end up happy ever after; and suspense thrillers filled with horrific sound and visual effects that minus the surprise factor are not really scary. Year in, year out, the type of movies released are all the same. The plot are all the same. Heck, even the titles are the same, identified only by words like sequel, part 2, pre-quel, or numbers like 1, 2, 3 and recently, by a play of words from the main title of the first film.

 

Occasionally, a change in the usual selection occurs in the form of films like Muro-Ami, Jose Rizal, and Ploning yet such films quickly find themselves into obscurity. It is the films with the likes of Enteng Kabisote, Tanging Ina, Shake, Rattle and Roll and A Very Special Love that finds itself with sequels. After all, it is these films that Juan can watch so he could temporarily forget his own reality.

 

(official trailer of Serbis, Mendoza’s entry to the Cannes festival last year)

And given this reality of the  movie goers preference in movies, then we can be certain that art films would remain screened in theaters like CCP and UP Film Insti for a long, long time.