Friday, March 25, 2016
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Dir. Zack Snyder
It's the superhero match-up I've been waiting for since I was a kid: The Son of Krypton vs The Dark Knight! Two of the most iconic superheroes finally together on the big screen. Zack Snyder's Man of Steel got the ball rolling on DC's movie universe-building to keep up with the monster that Marvel Studios has created in recent years. It was met with mixed reactions, especially regarding the final battle between Superman and General Zod, where Supes took Zod on in a massive, city-destroying fist fight without much regard for the actual people in the buildings he was demolishing in the process. The film was crazily heavy-handed with 9/11 imagery, and longtime Superman fans took issue with his conflicted "kill for the greater good" morals. Although I was one of the few who really enjoyed Man of Steel and defended its alterations to Superman (after all, he was still "new" at being mankind's savior), Batman v. Superman had a lot riding against it already, as not only being a sequel to Man of Steel, but also an introduction to a new version of Batman only a few years after Chris Nolan's trilogy and a set-up for the upcoming Justice League film. While I was hoping Snyder would pull through, make the haters chew their words and rectify the problems in Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman just exacerbated them and basically turns into a complete mess by the end.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Dir. Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Jared Bush
As far as I'm concerned, Disney Animation Studios are crushing Pixar in terms of their quality of movies as of late. Even though Inside Out was fantastic, with Frozen, Big Hero 6, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, Pixar's output of farming dinosaurs and sequels no one asked for hasn't been up to snuff lately. Zootopia continues Disney's winning streak, and this is my favorite of their current re-renaissance (which is really saying something).
The story follows Judy Hopps, a small-town bunny who moves to the big city of Zootopia to realize her dreams of becoming a police officer - despite the fact that "prey" are never usually given that privilege. Her parents are terrified for her and provide her with stun guns and fox repellent before leaving for the city. Once in Zootopia, she's relegated to the lowest position of parking duty, and while unfulfilled with her new life, strikes up an uneasy relationship with a fox hustler, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). The two eventually work together past their misunderstandings to uncover a political conspiracy to keep the public afraid of "predators." There are surprisingly deep themes with this story - there's a feminist angle with Hopps trying to be a police officer, there's a racial angle with her and the city's false assumptions about predators, and there's an interracial buddy cop movie in there, all wrapped up in a fun, hilarious package about furry CGI animals for kids.