Tag Archive: Zack Snyder


Batman v Superman

When it rains, it pours.

It’s was a heckuva weekend for movie fans.  First a new trailer dropped for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (we revealed it at borg.com here).  Then three more:  A second Fantastic Four trailer, the first full-length Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, and today, yet another Jurassic World trailer.

But see if you agree:  Not one of these three new previews really compares to the excitement of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, or the time-bending fun of Arnold returning in Terminator: Genisys (shown here).

Zack Snyder, who we’d had hopes for after his unusual but interesting interpretation of the Watchmen graphic novel for the big screen, is just auguring in the DC Comics cinematic universe after the dismal Men of Steel and now this preview for an equally grim Batman and Superman.  Thankfully the best superheroes can be found not on the big screen but every single week with DC Entertainment’s superb TV productions: Arrow, The Flash, and Gotham.  

Dr Doom new Fantastic Four 2015

Try on for size this first full-length trailer for Batman v Superman and see if you wouldn’t rather watch Brandon Routh as The Atom fighting some bad guys in Central City with Grant Gustin’s The Flash:

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Cavill in new Superman Batman

We now have had a first look at director Zack Snyder’s Batman, and as of this weekend, his Superman, above, from the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Beginning with its wordy, clunky title, SvBDoJ has the cards stacked against it, if Snyder’s Man of Steel is any indication.  Man of Steel proved a cast of distinguished character actors can’t save a movie from a bad idea and bad direction.  We know Ben Affleck, the new Batman, can be very good, and we all hope Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred can save this film, or at least give us some fun scenes to pass the time.  But fans should demand more from DC Entertainment.

It starts with Snyder.  It’s difficult to list all the reasons Man of Steel was such a horrible superhero movie.  But we can sure try.  Maybe Snyder will review what he did with Man of Steel and realize that superhero movies can do so much better.  We can hope.  The elements of a good superhero flick?  Heart and gravity.  Heroism and compassion.  Passion and perseverance.  Man of Steel had none of this.  Even the poorly miscast Ryan Reynolds’ vehicle Green Lantern ran circles around Man of Steel.  It can’t be that hard to make a good movie for the DC Comics universe.  If Snyder is going to do better with the first big budget Justice League movie, he must learn from his mistakes with Man of Steel.

Affleck as Batman and new Batmobile

So let’s get it all out in the open, why Man of Steel is on my worst movies list, and should be on yours, too.

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Affleck as Batman and new Batmobile

So there it is.

Zack Snyder has revealed the new Batmobile and our first look at Ben Affleck in his new Batsuit for the 2016 release Batman vs. Superman.  Somehow it makes you think this man in a rubber suit is going to beat the pulp out of the Man of Steel, doesn’t it?

It immediately calls to mind an amalgam of both Frank Miller’s Batman from The Dark Knight Returns:

Frank Miller Batman

Frank Miller’s Batman re-design from 1986.

and Jim Lee’s modern take on Batman first lauded in his “Hush” story arc:

Jim Lee Batman Affleck costume

Jim Lee’s 2002 era Batman.

Our first peek is a dark and gloomy image, which begs questions like “Is there any color to that wide bat emblem on his chest?”  And maybe, “Why so serious?”

Cascioli Batman Affleck suit Zack Snyder Trials of Shazam original art CJ Bunce

Mauro Cascioli’s take on Batman in 2006.

It also has the look we loved with Mauro Cascioli’s gritty Batman in his Trials of Shazam series.

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eva green 300 rise of an empire poster

If you can get past 300: Rise of an Empire being another Zack Snyder movie, and another Zack Snyder 300 movie, you might just go to this one because it looks like it could be a solid popcorn movie.  But a better reason would be to watch Eva Green and Lena Headey face off in a fantasy action flick.

Rise of an Empire is loosely based on Greek battles before, during, and after the battle of Thermopylae, the focus of Frank Miller’s graphic novel on which the original 300 film was based.  History buffs will find it difficult to get past most of the costuming and strange masked legions of Xerxes and his allies.

rise-of-an-empire-banner

This movie trailer suggests Lena Headey’s Queen of Sparta is part of a plot to avenge the death of her husband from the original film, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler).  Eva Green plays Artemesia, based on an actual commander of the Persian navy, and the only female commander according to the Greek historian Herodotus in books 7 and 8 of his Histories.

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By Art Schmidt

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and we were talking about comic book movies and the slow transition of the formulas for the ones which have succeeded to television format. My friend was grumbling about the lack of costumed heroes on popular shows such as Arrow or the new Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I have to admit, I hadn’t really noticed the lack of costumes in those shows, loving the first season of Arrow despite very few folks with traditional comic book costumes, and enjoying the first couple of episodes of A.O.S. (can you acronym an acronym?).

But the more I thought about it, the more puzzled I was.  Why weren’t there more costumes in Arrow?  Certainly Deathstroke’s mask was a pivotal prop in the series, and the Dark Archer had a cool getup, but they weren’t costumes so much as work attire fitting the villain’s nature.  And of course A.O.S. is a show about normal people, super spies and highly-skilled to be sure, but not superheroes.  And certainly without costumes outside of May’s black leather suit, akin to Fury’s normal wardrobe and the attire seen by many personnel aboard the Heli-carrier in The Avengers.

Speaking of which, The Avengers is a perfect case in point.  The evolution of the superhero sans costume.  I’ll get back to that in a minute.

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300 Rise of an Empire poster

The adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, based on the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, was met with both critical and popular success.  Known for its in-your-face blood-and-gore battle scenes, it may be the most graphic battle film ever made.

The original film starred Gerard Butler (Timeline, The Phantom of the Opera) as King Leonidas, Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as his wife Queen Gorgo, and supporting genre actors David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Van Helsing) and Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, X-Men: First Class, Jonah Hex, Hex, Inglourious Basterds).

Headey and Wenham are back for 300: Rise of an Empire, and an interesting choice, Eva Green as lead character Artemesia.  As she did in her role in The Golden Compass, she is wielding bow and arrow, this time apparently as a villain.

Check out the first trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire:

Note the preview highlights Zack Snyder as director–his Man of Steel is in theaters this weekend and he directed the original 300.  300: Rise of an Empire is scheduled for a March 7, 2014 release.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com