Some Thoughts on Justice League and Dawn of Justice


Spoilers for Justice League are in this post! Don’t read if you haven’t seen the film yet.

With the recent release of Justice League, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about Justice League and Batman vs Superman and how they can’t be dismissed lightly because of how layered the films and the overall story are:

First of all, we can’t take the plot of these films too lightly. If you think Justice League is about the Justice League defeating the alien threat of Steppenwolf and his parademons, then you should go rewatch the film again (I say rewatch it anyways, cause it’s such a great film), as this is the secondary plot of the movie. The primary plot of Justice League is really about the formation of the team and the individual team members having to learn how to come together and unite to form an unbeatable force (it’s all right in front of us in the marketing of the film). They all have a personal journey to make, and they have to overcome their fears and doubts before they can begin to trust each other and work together. This is illustrated to us very well in the beginnings of the film as Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince contact the different metahumans, Barry Allen, Arthur Curry, and Victor Stone. The names of these three and others were given to Bruce by Amanda Waller as shown to us in the Oscar winning film – Suicide Squad, which occurred in between Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

We are also shown how invincible Steppenwolf is as he is able to easily overcome the individual forces, the Amazonians, the Atlanteans, and Man to obtain the Motherboxes. It isn’t until the League is able to unite and work together that they are able to defeat him, and even then they need some “super” help (sorry, couldn’t help myself. lol). We see how, without Superman, Earth is doomed and the inhabitants of Earth would be unable to defeat Steppenwolf. The League has to learn how to work together to bring Superman back and they all played a part in bringing him back with the help of one of the Motherboxes. It isn’t until Superman is fully back and unites with the League that Steppenwolf can be defeated and sent packing.

Some have thought that Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice only showed us 15 mins (or whatever it ended up being) of Superman and Batman actually fighting, if so – then you need to rewatch the film. Batman versus Superman starts in the Prologue of the film when Batman witnesses firsthand the destruction of Metropolis and he sees Superman and Zod destroying Metropolis and he decides Superman is dangerous and he then starts his quest to destroy Superman. The whole movie is Batman/Bruce Wayne’s machinations to destroy Superman.

Having Lex Luthor behind the scenes pulling the strings to drag Batman further down into the darkness is icing on the cake for this film. While Batman is distracted by figuring out a way to defeat Superman, the real villain, who is Lex, ultimately unleashes a devil to destroy a god, in which he eventually succeeds. Lex is aware that in defeating Superman he can bring in true chaos to the world by way of the Motherboxes. The effects of Lex’s plan is dealt with in Justice League, which in turn makes that last end credit scene in Justice League more meaningful and it isn’t just eye candy.

Lex would’ve triumphed except for he forgot the one thing that trumps everything and can’t be quantified- Love. Especially the love a son has for his mother, and how some men would do anything to protect their mother. He was counting on Clark Kent’s love for his mother to manipulate him into defeating Batman, but he overlooked Bruce’s love for his long dead mother. Maybe he thought Bruce was too far down the dark path and couldn’t be redeemed because of the crimes he had committed. Bruce Wayne became Batman because of the love he had for his mother and father. But he had lost sight of this over the past couple of years due to the darkness of Gotham. He was becoming the type of person he had initially set out to protect people from. Clark’s love for his mother broke through this darkness and reminded Bruce of why he became Batman in the first place. He became Batman to protect the Martha and Thomas Wayne’s of the world.

With Clark Kent speaking the name of “Martha” and to “save Martha” this snapped Bruce back to what he was all about in the first place and he also realized the being in front of him was more like him than he realized. He saw a chance to do what his pre-teen self couldn’t do – “save Martha”.  He saw that Clark cared just as much for his mother and that his last dying breath was for someone to save his mother regardless of what happened to him. This is why he was willing to spare Superman and go save Martha Kent while Clark went to deal with Lex. Thus the beginning of the Justice League and you can say the Dawn of Justice.

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Justice League Spoiler Free Review

There has been a lot of controversy about the DC Cinematic Universe over the past couple of years. Critics love to bash the movies, while a lot of fans enjoy the movies and defend them almost to a fault. The recent release of Wonder Woman in June 2017 was a breath of fresh air for both critics and fans alike and they were able to come to an consensus that Wonder Woman was a great movie. Naturally, after a couple of months the attention shifted to the release of Justice League. The big question was if Justice League would follow in Wonder Woman’s footsteps, or go the way of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (however, full disclosure: I loved Dawn of Justice).

I’m here to tell you, Justice League is more Wonder Woman than Dawn of Justice. Justice League addresses all the complaints that critics had about previous DC movies and “fixes” them, plus a lot more!

Justice League starts out with the world mourning the death of Superman and it’s revealed that there is a looming threat (the one that Lex Luthor warned Batman about of at the end of Dawn of Justice) that is quickly coming. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince have to assemble a team to fight this upcoming threat – so they begin to form the Justice League.

Bruce Wayne/Batman has softened a bit since Dawn of Justice and carries with him the guilt over the death of Superman. He is more hopeful than he has been recently and is trying to right his wrong by preparing to defend Earth from the oncoming threat. He is more relatable to the audience than he was in the last movie. Ben Affleck is great as The Batman and I hope he sticks with the character and decides to be in the upcoming Batman trilogy.

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is so fun to watch and she continues to be a breath of fresh air for DC and for the superhero movie genre as a whole. She has her own angst to work through and has to decide if she wants to be a leader of superhero’s or not. The scene in the Batcave hangar between her and Bruce Wayne with the rest of the team watching, is one of the most emotional scene and is a pivotal moment in the movie. (the other emotional moment, and the best non action scene being ******. Ooops – I can’t say because it involves a major spoiler scene, and it is sooo good! But you’ll know it when you see it. I teared up at that moment.)

The introduction of Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Barry Allen/The Flash, and Victor Stone/Cyborg to the DC Cinematic Universe is so fun to watch! They each bring a new dynamic to the movie. They each have their own unique abilities and these abilities and personalities are fun to watch as they learn how to interact and trust one another as they are thrown together to save Earth.

Victor Stone is a great addition to the Justice League and is one of the lesser known and newer members of the Justice League. He earns his place on this team and I can’t wait for his story to be expanded upon in the future.

Barry Allen is engaging and brings the wide eyed, new kid on the block feel to the franchise. He has some great moments in the film and is a vital part to the Team.

Arthur Curry brings the coolness to this movie and is great to watch on screen (in more ways than one – right ladies?) as well. My only complaint is that the movie seemed too short and wished they could’ve fleshed out Aquaman’s story a little more, but with the next DC movie release being Aquaman, I’m sure they decided to do it in the upcoming movie.

The villain, Steppenwolf, is an ancient enemy of Earth and in the movie it is explained how long ago he attempted to invade Earth but was repelled by the Amazonians (Wonder Woman’s people), the Atlanteans (Aquaman’s people), and the tribes of man. With the death of Superman, Steppenwolf receives word of this (again, something shown in Dawn of Justice) and knows that he is in the clear to try and invade Earth once more.

The movie focuses on the formation of the Justice League and the invasion of Steppenwolf and his forces. There is a lot of action as you would expect from a superhero movie. There are some emotional moments in the film that humanize our heroes and make them more relatable and enjoyable to watch. There is humor as well, thankfully not as obnoxious or over the top as the Marvel movies (most annoyingly Thor 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2).

I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and I enjoyed it from start to finish. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be amazed at the action you see on the screen as our childhood icons team up on-screen for the first time to fight evil.

I give it an A-, 9 out of 10, 4.5 out of 5.

*There are two after credit scenes worth staying for – one humorous one a couple minutes into the credits, and a very cool one at the end. They’re not like the Marvel after credit scenes where they’re silly and don’t really have a point.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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“Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!”– Lex Luthor

Batman versus Superman. When this title was announced at San Diego Comic Con in 2014, it blew my mind! I was eagerly awaiting the announcement of a Man of Steel 2 movie, but this! This, my fellow nerds, was paramount to the Second Coming! Then to top it all off – Wonder Woman was announced to be a part of the movie too!

Batman AND Superman in the same movie?! The Man of Steel AND The Dark Knight at odds one with another?! Wonder Woman fighting alongside the two most iconic superheroes of all time?! Finally! This will be the first time The Trinity would appear on the big screen for fans to enjoy. For the first time we will see Diana Prince in action on film. The potential for greatness and movie making history was finally announced! And let me tell you, this film did not disappoint.

Wait, WHAT?! What is this you are reading? I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Am I truly reading a review of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice that isn’t disparaging the film left and right?” or “Am I understanding this correctly? This guy actually LIKED this movie?!” The answer is yes, you are.

But all joking aside; yes, I did enjoy this movie from the first viewing. I saw it multiple times in the theaters, four times in fact. I would’ve gone once or twice more had I had the time to do so. I bought the Ultimate Edition when it came out on home video and my appreciation and enjoyment of this film grew even more. The storyline and character development was fleshed out to be more fulfilling and robust with the Ultimate Edition. If this Ultimate Edition had been released in theaters, I believe it would have been better received.

I intend to break this film down into various parts from beginning to end, as well as to write a character analysis for each of the main players in the film, over the next few weeks. To discuss and analyze everything this movie event has to offer would be too long for one blog post. I will attempt to win over those that dislike, are ambivalent, and even hate this movie; as well as reinforce the greatness of this movie with those that do enjoy it. I’m looking forward to this experience as I delve deep into this film, which in my opinion could be considered the greatest movie of 2016. It’s only competition being Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

But at the end of the day, if you don’t like the film – that’s fine, if you do like the film -great! Either way, life will go on and Warner Bros. will continue to produce and release films from the DC Universe for those that enjoy them.

Listed below are the topics I will address and expound upon, I will activate links to the various topics and characters as I finish writing them.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pt. 1 – Prologue

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pt. 2 – The Setup

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pt. 3 – Investigations

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pt. 4 – The Plan is Set in Motion

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pt. 5 – War

Bruce Wayne/Batman

Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman

Lex Luthor

Lois Lane

Alfred

Zod/Doomsday

Justice League Footage!

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One of the most exciting things to come out of San Diego Comic Con this past weekend was a trailer of sorts, of the upcoming Justice League movie. In this exclusive footage, we get to see Bruce Wayne visiting Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Barry Allen (The Flash) and inviting them to join with him for an upcoming, unknown threat. We see Bruce and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) planning out how to create a super team. We also see three of them (Bruce, Barry, and Diana)  together, along with Cyborg (Victor Stone) walking into an abandoned room.

Following on the heels of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where we saw very small glimpses of Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg, it was great to see them a little longer in this trailer and see more of their personalities as we watch them interact with Bruce. We also briefly see a Mother Box being buried in the ground. We saw two Mother Box’s in Dawn of Justice, one that essentially combined with Victor Stone and presumably turned him into Cyborg. The other was in Ultimate Edition, when we see Lex Luthor communing with Steppenwolf (a DC villain and Darkseid follower) and a Mother Box is present.

Justice League is set to be released November 17th 2017.

 

Smallville Season 7 Episode 18-Apocalypse

Apocalypse shows up what would happen if Kal-El hadn’t made it to Earth and the results of Lex Luthor’s quest for power. While reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life, this episode shows us some previews of Clark and Lois and the chemistry they will later have. We see how Clark will embrace his destiny after trying to put it off for some time. In this alternate timeline, we get to see Clark Kent in the press reporter outfit with glasses that we have come to know and love. Kara is rescued from Krypton and we get to see baby Kal-El once again. This episode is full of nostalgic moments, at least if you’re old enough to have seen the Superman movie from the late 70’s.

While I am not a fan of the episodes where Clark’s secret is revealed to a major character, but then by the end of the episode those characters no longer remember it, this one was well done and entertaining.

At the loft in the Kent barn, Clark Kent is reading Dr. Virgil Swan’s journal. Choe Sullivan comes in and Clark tells Chloe that he received another message from Kara Kent on Krypton. Clark needs to go back to Krypton to stop them from destroying him as a baby. Clark decides not to go back in time to Krypton. Chloe pleads with Clark to go back to Krypton, and puts the key into his hand. He says that this planet would be better off if he had never existed. They key emits a light and Clark wakes up in the barn. A teenager comes in and asks him what he is doing in there. The boy reveals that he is Clark Kent.

Clark goes into the farmhouse and sees pictures of Jonathan and Martha Kent with the new Clark Kent. The new Clark Kent tells him to get out of the home. Clark decides to check on his friends, and looks up their addresses to go talk with them. He tracks down Chloe Sullivan, and she doesn’t know him. He introduces himself to her and asks about Lana Lang. She doesn’t know where she is. Chloe is engaged and introduces him to her fiance. Clark tells her that he is happy for her.

Clark goes to the Daily Planet and runs into Jimmy Olsen. He enlists Jimmy to help track down Lana. Jimmy does a search for her, and discovers that Lana is now married with kids. Clark is happy for Lana, and turns to leave and bumps into Lois Lane. Clark catches her and she comments on how cute he is. She invites Clark to have a drink with him after work. Just then, the feds come in and arrest Lois for possessing government property. The leader of the group is Kara Kent, they take Lois off in handcuffs. Jimmy reveals that Lex Luthor is President. Clark tells him that he has to stop Lex. Jimmy is about to shred some evidence and tells Clark that Lois has him run errands for her. Jimmy tells Clark who to talk to to find out more information.

Clark goes to a bar to find this person, and sees the old Sheriff of Smallville, Sheriff Adams, but she doesn’t recognize him. She happens to be the person that Clark needs to get information from. He tells her that Lois was arrested, Adams doesn’t know this. Clark wants to know where she is, Adams tells him.

Black SUV’s pull up to a facility and bring Lois out. Clark disables the security guards and grabs Lois. She is twitterpated at being rescued by Clark.

They go to Jimmy’s place and Lois tells Clark that she has confidential information,a video, that would incriminate Lex Luthor and expose his lies. While in captivity, Lois overheard that they will be taken Lex to NORAD to hide out. Lois thinks that it’s the result of an impending nuclear threat. The video shows that Milton Fine is working with Lex. Clark realizes that because he wasn’t there to stop them, Lex and Fine are taking over the world. They devise a plan to stop them by getting the codes for the nuclear launch. Clark puts on a suit and tie and Lois gives him her press pass. Lois then puts the famous dark rimmed glasses on Clark.

At a press conference, Kara and Lex are discussing how while Lex is looking out for the greater good of humanity, Fine is behind the false information of a nuclear attack. Kara reveals a document that proves this. Lex burns it and tells her that Fine is following his orders. Lex pulls the guilt card on her and tells her that he is disappointed in her. Lex reminds her that his father found her ship by the Reeves Dam and protected her. Kara backs down and Fine comes in to take Lex to the press conference and they leave.

Clark confronts Kara and reveals himself to her. They talk about how to stop Lex and Fine. Kara is reluctant and says she is loyal to Lex. Clark tells her that Fine is Brainiac and that he must be stopped. Apparently Kara knows who Brainiac is in this alternate timeline and agrees to help Clark stop Brainiac. They go to Lex and tell him of Brainiac’s evil plan. Clark tells Lex that Fine is using him to gain access to the nuclear arsenal. Lex reveals that he knows this and that the world’s best and brightest are safe and that he will be their leader. Lex pulls a gun and shoots Clark with kryptonite bullets. He then shoots Kara too. Fine comes in and has Kara transported to medical care with kryptonite handcuffs. He brings in the briefcase and Lex gives the codes for the nuclear launch. Lex leaves for NORAD, and Fine stays to deal with Clark. They talk about how Fine will use Kara’s fortress to release General Zod from the Phantom Zone.

Fine shoots Clark in the head, but it reveals that this alternate reality has been put in motion by Jor-El. He tells Clark that he must stop Brainiac and go to Krypton. Clark is then back in the barn with Chloe. He tells her that he must go to Krypton to stop Brainiac.

On Krypton, Brainiac has baby Kal-El and is about to stab him. Kara steps in and tries to stop it. Brainiac throws her and tells her that she can’t stop him. Clark shows up and he and Fine struggle. Kara comes up behind him and stabs him with the knife. Clark grabs his babyself and puts him in the ship. Kara deals with Brainiac and the ship with Kal-El takes off. Clark asks about Brainiac and Kara tells him that she destroyed him. Kara and Clark escape through the portal back to Earth.

On Earth, Clark checks on Lana via telephone and she is getting worse. Clark and Kara talk about going back in time again to try and fix things again, they could save their planet. Clark tells her that they can’t change the past, they can only affect the future. Kara tells him that no matter what she will be there to support him.

Lex visits Clark in the barn and they talk about Lana Lang and her condition. Lex has had the best doctors check on Lana and they don’t have any idea on how to heal her. Clark tells Lex that he doesn’t know what can be done. Lex doesn’t believe him and tells him to come to him if there is anything he remembers.

At the Daily Planet, Clark is researching ways to help Lana. Lois comes in and questions what he is doing. He tells her and she doesn’t know what to say. Lois wants to help Clark, but doesn’t know what to say. Clark tells her that she is a good friend, and she invites him to go out for a drink with her.

At the Kent home, Kara is up and goes to get a drink of milk, but starts to have a major headache and falls to the floor in pain.

Smallville Season 7 Episode 17-Sleeper

Overall, I thought this was a boring episode, and that it was aptly titled -Sleeper.  But it did bring to light some good information for the ongoing story plot. Obviously the whereabouts of Kara and Brainiac are huge and what Brainiac’s evil plot to destroy Clark Kent is. While this nugget of information is huge and very interesting to find out, the rest of the episode is a foray into the relationship of Jimmy Olsen and Chloe Sullivan. While I find these characters interesting, as long as they don’t overstep their bounds for their roles in the series, I don’t find their relationship very interesting. It could be that I have a longing for Chloe and Clark to get together in a romantic relationship, which will probably never happen. But I think Jimmy is best relegated to a secondary or tertiary role in the series, as this attempt to have him as a primary role in the episode fell flat, for me anyways. The introduction of Special Agent Vanessa Weber and the introduction of her into the series was well done and I found her character and involvement more interesting than Jimmy Olsen in this episode. Sadly, I doubt we’ll be seeing Agent Weber very much if at all in the future.

The subplot of Lex Luthor opening the lock box in Zurich was a big deal and what the reveal for what was inside it is a big plot point too. However, this subplot took very little screen time and could’ve been easily added to any other episode. Continue reading “Smallville Season 7 Episode 17-Sleeper”

Smallville Season 7 Episode 16-Descent

Lex Luthor has been flirting with the dark side for some time now. He has been on the edge, but has always had a reason to not jump off. In this episode, titled Descent, we see the events that pushes him over that edge and causes him to descend into the darkness. He not only commits a physical act that has him embrace the darkness, but an internal struggle is going on inside him as well. These two events are the final acts that enable Lex’s journey to pure evil become complete.

We also see how the friendship of Lex and Clark Kent will never be repairable and how after six and a half seasons, there is no going back for them.  Continue reading “Smallville Season 7 Episode 16-Descent”

Smallville Season 7 Episode 15-Veritas

We learn more about Veritas and those that founded it. We learn that Lex Luthor is gaining memories lost due to his exposure to the meteor shower. We learn that Clark Kent still can’t fly. We learn that Virgil Swan, Lionel Luthor, Robert Queen and Edward Teague have known about Kryptonians and in a round about way, Clark Kent since he arrived in Smallville. We learn that there is a mysterious envelope locked in a Zurich vault that contains secret information that only the now deceased Virgil Swan knew about.

I was hoping that we’d actually get to see Clark fly, the other times we’ve seen ‘Clark’ fly don’t count as it wasn’t truly Clark. But, no it was only a tease to get our hopes up. We did get to see the dynamic duo of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen work together for the first time as reporter and camera man. Hopefully we’ll see more of that in future episodes.  Continue reading “Smallville Season 7 Episode 15-Veritas”

Smallville Season 7 Episode 14-Traveler

In Traveler we learn more about the mythology of Smallville and the mystery of how Lionel Luthor is so entrenched in helping Clark Kent. We find out that Virgil Swan, Lionel Luthor and the Queens, along with a fourth family – the Teague’s, have known about ‘The Traveler’ for some time. That the Traveler arrived on Earth during the first meteor shower. At the time they didn’t know who that was, but eventually Lionel figured it out. He had the other patriarch’s killed. We get to see more of the motivation of Lionel Luthor.

This episode came up with a great way to neutralize Clark Kent, with kryptonite tasers and a kryptonite cage. With Clark captured, it was great to see Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang work together to first free Kara Kent from the evil clutches of Lex Luthor, and then help Clark escape. If they have a common goal, Lana and Chloe work great together and it’s fun to watch. We also see Chloe declare her love for Clark, not in his presence though, while it didn’t come across as romantic love, more like true love for another human being. I still think that Chloe and Clark should end up together and scenes like that only reinforce that idea for me. Continue reading “Smallville Season 7 Episode 14-Traveler”

Smallville Season 7 Episode 13-Hero

Pete Ross is back!! I didn’t realize how much I missed Pete until I saw him back on the show. While I would occasionally wonder what happened to him and felt it a shame that he was no longer a regular, This episode made me realize that Smallville needs more Pete. With Pete back in Smallville, it wasn’t just a cameo appearance, we were able to see how Pete gained powers and had to face the same trials that Lana Lang had to face a few episodes ago when she was given Clark Kent’s powers. He felt he could handle them like Clark has and could be a Hero. Again, the subject matter of Clark hiding out and not going public with his powers for the good of humanity was addressed. Again, Clark declines to go public and to stay in the shadows.

Pete’s powers were similar to Elastic Man from the fantastic four. He could stretch his body anyway he wanted. However, these powers were only due to kryptonite infected gum and would only be usable when he was chewing the gum and were temporary. Pete learned first hand how hard it is for Clark to keep his secret and gained a greater appreciation for Clark and their friendship deepened. While Pete is only back for this episode, I hope that he comes back to Smallville at a later date and that we get to see more of Pete in action.  Continue reading “Smallville Season 7 Episode 13-Hero”