The Suicide Squad – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that finally made me care about these characters but one that also suffered from some narrative bloat    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film.

The Suicide Squad. Image Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures.

The Suicide Squad Review

In life, you rarely get the chance to make a second first impression. For every Parks and Rec that gets to find its feet in its second season, many more fall by the wayside after their first attempt. Well, today, DC gives us a film that is a second chance to bring a set of characters and scenarios into the DCEU to see if they work, and the answer to that question is yes … mostly.

So to set the scene, we open in with Savant (Michael Rooker) in prison attacking birds with his bouncing ball. But before he has time to finish his time off, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) tells him that he has been conscripted into a mission. Within moments he is rushed to the island of Corto Maltese, with Weasel (Sean Gunn), Javelin (Flula Borg), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), TDK (Nathan Fillion), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Their mission is to infiltrate the island and get past the military patrols, as the island recently suffered a military coup. It is all going well right up until Weasel dies because he can’t swim, and Blackguard immediately sells them out.     

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Zach Snyder’s Justice League (The Snyder Cut) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A better film than the original, but some of the old flaws are still there, and with some new ones to boot.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

End Credit Scene – There is no end credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this series.

Zach Snyder’s Justice League Review

When the first Justice League came out, there were whispers of its difficult production but no hints about what went on behind the scenes. Looking back on my review of the first film, I don’t think I was as harsh with the film’s final cut as many other people were. However, that may have just been the feeling of inevitability as to where the DC Expanded Universe was heading. Since then, rumours of the Snyder Cut have permeated popular culture, creating a less than ideal back and forth between the different sides. Well, today, we get to see that original vision of the director come to pass, with the official cut being released on home media.

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Wonder Woman 1984 – Movie Review

TL;DR – In many respects, this is a messy film, but it is also engaging and entertaining from start to finish   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Wonder Woman 1984. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Of all the film franchises that have had a rough go of it in recent years, the top of that list would have to be the DC Extended Universe. For a long time, it felt like it was trying to find an identity after the first attempt fell flat and it kept swinging wildly trying to compensate. The first Wonder Women film came out, and for the first time in the franchise’s history, it actually stuck the landing. The question then becomes ‘can they do it again?’ and the answer is apparently yes, yes they can.

So to set the scene, we open back on Themyscira when Diana (Lilly Aspell) was a young girl. It is a festival day where the warriors of the land compete in a grand obstacle course, and of course, Diana wants to join in. It is here where she learns the important lesson that there are no shortcuts in life. As time goes on, we see little snippets of Diana’s (Gal Gadot) life as she hides among the humans but every now and again she dons the mantle of Wonder Women to fight some crime. What she didn’t expect is this crime would unearth something that should have stayed buried.

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Movie Review – Joker

TL;DR –  A hollow film trying to say something but knowing it actually has nothing to say and hoping you will be distracted by Phoenix’s performance not to notice.  

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Joker. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

It has been a couple of days since I watched Joker and instead of writing the review right away I needed to let this film sit a percolate in my brain for a bit before I started writing. Part of that is because I have talked to a lot of people because there are a lot of different experiences with the film, so I wanted to make sure I knew the different perspectives before I dived in. But also because there are aspects of the film I quite like and those that I really don’t and I needed to work through that juxtaposition.    

So to set the scene, in the 1980s Gotham City is beset by a garbage strike and tempers are starting to flare as the piles of rubbish start to accumulate. On the outskirts of the city lives Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) who works as a clown during the day and looks after his housebound mother Penny (Frances Conroy) in the evenings. Which would be difficult enough for any person but Arthur suffers from a neurological condition that required multiple types of medication and still causes spontaneous uncontrollable laughter. Things are manageable for Arthur but as his life starts to unravel so does he.

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Movie Review – Shazam!

TL;DR – By finding a focus, Shazam! shows that DC can really make great films when they focus on something, in this case, the role of family.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Shazam! Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

By now, I am sure you have heard about the issues with the DC Extended Universe, in the race to get that big multi-film spanning Cinema Empire they jumped the gun too early and rushed forward before finding out if people wanted what they were giving. During its First Run, there was only one film that was both a critical and commercial success, Wonder Woman, this was because it had its own heart and was not just here to push a cinematic universe, and it has something to say. Since then we have had Aquaman that while not perfect was at least trying to do something interesting, and today we get a look at the next film that found that fun is fine, but heart is more important.

So to set the scene, we open as a young Thad (Ethan Pugiotto) is on a car trip with his unpleasant family in the 1970s when he is sucked into another realm run by Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) the last of the council of wizards left. He is trying to find someone pure of heart to be his successor, but alas Thad is not the one. Fast forward to December 2018 when we find Billy Batson (Asher Angel) helping the police out, but it a ruse to get into their computer because he is trying to find his mum that he lost as a child. Well, it didn’t work out and Billy is put with new foster parents Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans), not that he plans to stay long. However, everything changes when a subway trip leads him to a dark cave and he yells out the word Shazam becoming someone completely else (Zachary Levi).

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Movie Review – Aquaman

TL;DR – Bombastic, silly, overly long, but still by far some of the best fun DC has made so far.    

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Aquaman. Image Credit: Warner Bothers.

Review

To say that the DC Expanded Universe has had a rough launch up to this point would be a bit of an understatement. Indeed, of all the past films, only Wonder Woman (see review) felt like a coherent film in any great sense. So, more than ever, the first film after Justice League had to hit the ground running, even more so after background conversations that the expanded universe was losing a lot of its big-name talent. Now while Aquaman is not a perfect film, it is a film with a lot of style, and more than most of the films that have come before it was just fun.

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Movie Review – Wonder Woman (2017)

TL;DR – While not revolutionary per se, DC finally found a formula that works, and realised that there is no point moving a universe ahead if the individual movies don’t work.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is NO mid/post credit sequence

Wonder Woman (2017). Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

So if you have read my reviews for Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman you would probably know that unfortunately, I have not had the best time with the DC Expanded Universe so far. Now when it comes to DC v Marvel I have no skin in the game, I want both to succeed, and I only care about if the movie is good or not, and so far DC just has not made a compelling entry into this expanded universe of theirs. Well, that is until now. Is Wonder Woman a perfect film, no of course not, but it is logically structured, emotionally resonant, and filled with fascinating characters, which is a huge step in the right direction. Now as we go one we will keep this as spoiler free as possible, however, we do need to discuss the ending, but we will clearly mark them so that you can avoid them it if you want.

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