REVIEW: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa (left to right) in Zack Snyder’s Justice League — Photo: HBO (Max / Nordic).

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.

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REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Disney / Lucasfilm

The following is a review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — Directed by J. J. Abrams.

Although the subtitle of this film suggests otherwise, Disney has been pretty adamant in saying that the Skywalker saga (i.e. the episodes) is coming to an end with this ninth episode, which thus ends Disney’s sequel trilogy. It has been a trilogy that has been bumpier than I expected it to be, which is largely due to Lucasfilm hirings and firings, as well as the return of a rabid, entitled, and toxic part of the Star Wars fandom, which has been determined to have their say on what can and cannot be appreciated about these films. This part of fandom has been absolutely infuriating, and it has robbed Star Wars fans of the happiness that one should get when you discuss something that you love. J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was an undeniably satisfying and very rewatchable table-setter, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was an ambitious, bold, and critically acclaimed exploration of legacy, legends, and failure. Now we have The Rise of Skywalker, J. J. Abrams’ curtain-closer. Though I did ultimately enjoy the film, I have to admit and acknowledge that this is definitely the sequel trilogy’s low-point, in part due to Abrams’ obvious attempt to appease parts of the fandom that could only be pacified by reversing decisions that were made in Rian Johnson’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)”

REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following is a spoiler-free review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a Zack Snyder film.

Batman v Superman is finally here! Comic book fans have been wanting to see this film for decades, and moviegoers have been waiting for a proper sequel to Man of Steel since 2013. Somehow this film had to appease both audiences. My complicated history with Man of Steel has been heavily documented on this blog, and I don’t think I’ve really loved a Zack Snyder-film since his remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Needless to say, I was really worried about this film. Superman used to be one of my favorite comic book characters, and Batman still is one of my favorites – I want them to be given a proper treatment on the big screen. I just wanted to like it – that is all I wanted from this film. But, to be perfectly honest, I did not. At least not all of it.  Continue reading “REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”