Over the years, I have certainly not tried to hide the fact that I think 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was directed by David Ayer (though he has repeatedly made it clear that the film was essentially taken away from him as a result of studio interference), is, to put it mildly, one of my least favorite films ever made in the superhero genre. That 2016 film certainly reeked of studio interference, it was an almost incoherent mess, it was needlessly grimy and at times quite ugly, it used a decent soundtrack as a crutch and in a way that became incredibly tiring, all the while failing to get you to care about the characters or the relationships they were building. There were some decent things about it, but, on the whole, it felt like someone had tried to turn Ayer’s vision into a shameless imitation of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and that just didn’t work for the film that Ayer had envisioned.
Directed by Patty Jenkins — Screenplay by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and Dave Callaham.
The highly anticipated sequel to Patty Jenkins’ 2017 film, Wonder Woman, has finally arrived in Denmark. The film was released in theaters around the world (and simultaneously on HBO Max exclusively in the United States) in December of 2020, but, a week, or so, prior to the theatrical release in Denmark, all Danish theaters were ordered to close due to the second wave of the Coronavirus global pandemic. At the time of writing, theaters are still closed. This also means that Wonder Woman 1984 eventually skipped Danish theaters entirely.
In the mean time, frustratingly, the film was not made available for premium-video-on-demand in Denmark, and it took the distributor this long to release the film on HBO Nordic. That’s right, almost exactly three months after it was released on a streaming service in the United States. But now, thankfully, that wait is over. I’ve finally had the chance to watch the sequel to the hit 2017 superhero film led by Gal Gadot. Unfortunately, while I appreciated the original film, this sequel just feels misguided.
Directed by Zack Snyder — Screenplay by Chris Terrio — Story by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, and Will Beall.
In 2017, Warner Bros. released the film titled Justice League in theaters worldwide. This was a superhero team-up film that was supposed to be the third installment in a series of films set in Warner Bros.’ cinematic universe that has been dubbed the DC Extended Universe. The previous two installments — Man of Steel and Batman v Superman — were directed by Zack Snyder, who had essentially become the godfather, or the face, of the DC Extended Universe.
Snyder was also supposed to complete Justice League, but, due to a family tragedy, he decided to step away from the film and let Joss Whedon, the seasoned superhero filmmaker hired by Warner Bros. to replace him, finish the film. But Whedon and Snyder are very different filmmakers and they have different sensibilities, and, ultimately, the theatrical cut of Justice League was met with largely negative reviews. The final product lacked a uniform vision and tone, and it started to become clear that a lot of the essential material that Zack Snyder had planned for the film had been left on the cutting room floor.
The following is a review of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — Directed by Cathy Yan.
In 2016, David Ayer’s messy and displeasing Suicide Squad embiggened the then fairly new cinematic universe from DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures. Although it somehow won itself an Academy Award, the film was rightfully panned by critics, including me. I often think back on that film as being one of the absolute worst superhero films of the last decade. Therefore, at first glance, a spin-off from Suicide Squad, which is exactly what Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey is, shouldn’t appeal to me at all. However, this film promised to not just focus on the most entertaining character from Ayer’s film, it also promised a more colorful, more fun, and more feminine approach to a cinematic universe that could benefit from some levity and brightness. Thankfully, although I have some issues with her film, Cathy Yan has successfully brought the film’s characters to life in an entertaining way. Continue reading “REVIEW: Birds of Prey (2020)”→
The following is a review of Joker — Directed by Todd Phillips.
It has felt almost impossible to drown out the noise surrounding Todd Phillips’ Joker. Any film even tangentially related to Batman has a gigantic spotlight on it at all times, but the drama surrounding the release of this standalone origin story has been different. Though the film has won numerous film festival awards, including the coveted Golden Lion-award from the Venice Film Festival, even select critics who liked the film have seemingly been apprehensive about recommending it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Joker (2019)”→
The following is a review of Shazam! — Directed by David F. Sandberg.
It pleases me to say that the DC Cinematic Universe has turned a corner. For so long, Wonder Woman, the first film in the connected universe to receive a majority of positive reviews from film writers, seemed like an anomaly in the inconsistent universe where mixed reception was the best that you could hope for. James Wan’s Aquaman, however, was a big hit — one that indicated that perhaps the DC connected film universe still had life in it. And for Shazam! — a character most audiences will be unfamiliar with — DC and Warner Bros. borrowed yet another director from the Conjuring-film universe, Swedish David F. Sandberg, who, thankfully, has made a huge homerun hit for the weakened connected universe. Continue reading “REVIEW: Shazam! (2019)”→
The following is a review of Aquaman — Directed by James Wan
If you are reading this as a die-hard Aquaman-fan, I’m sorry but I have to start off my review like this: I’ve never thought that highly of the character. I didn’t make dumb water-jokes about him, but, for the longest time, the first things I thought about when I heard someone mention ‘Aquaman’ was, first, Alan Ritchson in CW’s Smallville and, then, the fake James Cameron film from HBO’s Entourage. Continue reading “REVIEW: Aquaman (2018)”→
The following is a review of Justice League – Directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon.
A couple of months ago, I was looking through some old pieces of paper that I had found in a drawer. In it, I found a membership certificate for some sort of Danish Batman-fan club, and it had my name on it (actually, it was misspelled). This certificate was from when I was just around the age of six or seven.
I am telling you this to provide you with a bit of context for my own background and my love for DC Comics. I’m one of those kids who would hunker down and read Superman comics in the back of the store, while my dad was talking to the comic book store owner. Did I read Marvel Comics too? Definitely, but that shouldn’t take away from my love for DC Comics. I am now, and always have been, a fan of these characters. Continue reading “REVIEW: Justice League (2017)”→
The following is a review of Wonder Woman – Directed by Patty Jenkins.
Although there are a lot of female heroes to read about in comic books, few of them have been given a chance on the big screen. In fairness, Hollywood has tried to make female superhero films work before, but when those attempts didn’t work out well, they weren’t really interested in pursuing other similar projects.
Jeannot Szwarc’s Supergirl was critically panned, as was both Pitof’s Catwoman and Rob Bowman’s Elektra. Now, in 2017, we are finally getting a good film about a true feminist icon. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is here, and while it isn’t perfect, it is a strong origin story for an important comic book character. Continue reading “REVIEW: Wonder Woman (2017)”→
The following is a review of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.
The DC Cinematic Universe needs a hit right now. Man of Steel was polarizing. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was critically panned and it needed an extended cut to fix some of its many problems. Now, Warner Bros. and DC have released a film about bad guys teaming up to do ‘good.’ It may be a bit of a risk, but they are going for a Guardians of the Galaxy-like surprise hit. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad doesn’t hold a candle to the aforementioned Marvel Studios hit. David Ayer’s film is an almost incoherent mess of a film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Suicide Squad (2016)”→