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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Is Warner Bros. Sure That Was The Dawn, Because It Seems Like It Could Have Been The Dusk #BatmanVSuperman #DawnofJustice #MovieReview #ComicBookMovie #Superheroes

Is Warner Bros. Sure That Was The Dawn, Because It Seems Like It Could Have Been The Dusk #BatmanVSuperman #DawnofJustice #MovieReview #ComicBookMovie #Superheroes

All pictures courtesy of Warner Bros. unless otherwise noted


"Aww, poor baby. Well, at least they tried." ~ What my mother or grandmother would say if when watching someone fail at something. Before we dig into this film, let me make it clear that this will contain SPOILERS, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to be spoiled, don't read the full thing (there are sections labeled budget and rumors you can read, however), otherwise gear up and settle in lades and gents because this is gonna be a very long read. Note also that this is an ultimate review, which really means little outside of me trying to distinguish myself from the myriad of other reviews currently circulating the web. In it, I will be not only reviewing the film, but DC's plans going forward as well as the soundtrack. For all you movie or writing buffs, there will also be a bit of film school/writing 101, not that I'm a teacher. Brace yourself because I have a lot to say.

GLOATING
I'll start by gloating. Why, you ask? I was proven right... partially. If you recall (you probably won't because you probably didn't read it), way back in December I wrote a post discussing a conversation I had with a friend over at Warner Bros (THE POST). In the comments, people were outraged, flippant, and downright adamant that I was wrong, that I did it for clicks, that I didn't know what I was talking about and some said that I trolled. In fact, even Batman-on-film.com insinuated that I probably didn't even know anybody at Warner Bros. First off, if you're going to deny I heard it from a friend, then you need to check my stats. I have spoken briefly on this blog about Hollywood not being a new game to me. Yes, I actually know people who work in the industry, who know what the heck they are talking about and who are still willing to take my calls. I have sold stuff out there... sort of. It's a long story, one which you'll be able to read in my epic novel Unrequited which is due out sometime in the next few months. To have even doubted I knew someone is ridiculous. Any comic fan who knows what happens with Superman and Doomsday should have guessed that, which is why my friend had no problem telling me. Also, he knows that I am not a journalist, I'm not some scoop-hungry entertainment reporter looking for the next leak from the studio back offices. I don't get paid for that and would much more prefer to make the films than report on them. Hell, I don't even have ads (or at least too many) on my blog. While the extra clicks were nice, I'm not getting paid for them. As much as I'd love for you to read and subscribe to my blog, I'd much prefer that you go over to Amazon and buy/read my books, like A Dangerous Low or A Furious Wind or The Knowledge of Fear (out soon). This wasn't just speculation from me. If it was, I would have labeled it as such as I did in not only that very post, but in one of my first posts on the new Spider-Man. The friend told it to me because WB didn't care if it got out apparently, nor did he put a lid on me not to tell anyone which he usually does. We have each other's confidence. He's not mad at me and he's not about to lose his job just because I posted something on a blog that NO ONE READS, LOL.

With that said, not everything he told me was correct. However, the SPOILER: that he did reveal was that Superman would die... and he did. Kind of like in the comics. Now, I also heard from him at the time that the movie was over three hours and they had a few redundant scenes which the studio wanted cut, which then made it 3 hours exactly, but they still wanted more cuts which gave us the ultimate time. Whether or not some of the other stuff he told me still proves to be true (like the Steve Trevor/Wonder Woman/Flash time travel thing or Darkseid) is still up for debate. Some of the other stuff was a psuedo-correct. The Flash doing the time-travel thing happened much earlier in the film and didn't play out quite like he told me it would, but there was still that crazy sense of "They're going to do time travel in a big way very early, possibly even before The Flash film, possibly in Justice League or Wonder Woman." Also, there simply wasn't a big quick-glimpse fight scene of the Justice League fighting those flying creatures in that desert land
scape like he said, though I suspected this was either a joke by him at the time or it would wind up on the cutting room floor as he said there were effects still not properly rendered that they were going to toss. It did turn out to be a dream sequence like was originally reported, though, I would contend that the way he explained it and then I told it to you would have been far more compelling either as a dream or as an ending flash-forward. And lastly, my personal theory that Callan was actually Martian Manhunter didn't pan out. The guy still looks like an alien. Seriously! Just sayin'.

MOVIE REVIEW

Now, getting to the movie at hand. Oh boy, where do I start? I can't completely pan it like many, many... many critics and fans. As I've always said, I know how hard it is to be creative and to make any kind of creative endeavor not only work but garner love from fans. And since I want to get back to the film industry soon, I want to be very poignant and explanatory about my criticism while giving them credit for even attempting greatness. Greatness, unfortunately, this was not.

When You Thought You Made A Great Movie And Even Your Friend (Kevin Smith) Said It Had Problems

To start, the film had literally about four or five different beginnings. As listed, they are: Bruce Wayans parents dying, Bruce tracking through the streets as Superman fights Zod, some divers finding some Kryptonite off the beaches of the Indian Ocean, Lois interviewing a terrorist and getting saved by Superman and I want to say there's one more but I can't think of it right now. Some fans have defended this. Other critics have written a similar complaint, but what does it mean? It speaks to a conglomerate of scenes that the audience is supposed to latch on to but doesn't for whatever reason. While they all have weight and importance, you could walk into the theater at the beginning of any one of them and not feel as if you've missed anything. In fact, you can cut the first ten minutes of the film completely and the film would still work.
Conversely, and I know I'm jumping ahead of myself here but I should just mention it while it's fresh in my mind, the film also has about three separate endings, any of which could have served as the ultimate one. I'll get to those later but let's return to the start.

WAYNE DEATHS

You're Telling Me You're Going To Give Me A Paycheck For No Real Reason? Yes!

Why did we waste so much time seeing Thomas and Martha Wayne die again? Really? You know why? I'll tell you, and this goes back to my film school comment. I can't stress enough just how important it is for actors, writers and directors to join their own film click if they want to be successful and have longevity. I can almost assure you that the only reason Snyder included that scene was to give his old buddy Dean a paycheck. The most superfluous scene that I've seen in a film in at least ten years. Little dialogue, almost exclusively in slow-mo and adds no new wrinkle to the story. The whole "Martha" thing could have been a quick voice-over and have Bruce awake from a dream. He needed neither the scene nor the known actors for it. You didn't even have to show their faces, just in case you did want to use Bruce's dead parents in a future film which is the only possible reason I can produce on why they would get two known actors that they'd have to pay more for. In other words, get ready for more flashbacks and ghostly chats in potential future Batman/Justice League installments.

Switching to the soundtrack for a minute, you know this scene is overly long when it's scored in its entirety with the first track entitled "Beautiful Lie." The track is 3:47minutes long. Even if you round down, that's still three full minutes of an unnecessary scene in the finished 2 1/2hour film. Ay yay yay!

You Couldn't Get Better Flowers Than That? 

Next, Bruce zooming through Metropolis makes for an awesome scene, sure. But even the most foolhardy fan or audience member has to ask, "Why?" What did he think he'd do? Honestly, I watched this scene and gave it a slight pass because for some reason I thought it could be redeemed if he was already in the city, but this dude had to hop a copter from Gotham just to fly over to the city being destroyed to... make a call? To pull a guy with no legs out of rubble? To hug a little girl? And did the head guy in charge really not know to evacuate the building when that crap started? I thought he was working for a billionaire genius. Shouldn't you be smart if you're going to be top brass for a billionaire? Maybe this is why Donald Trump only seeks his own opinion for things, because everyone around him is Dorothy's Scarecrow--if they only had a brain.

I found the Lois-in-the-desert scene to be the most infuriating (skipping over the kryptonite discovery for now) as the way they used it not only felt flawed but everything about it stunk of rush job. Why a rush job, you ask? Well, let me first say that I used to enjoy watching John Campea on AMC then Collider Movie Talk which he has since departed. He tried to reason that they weren't rushing the film when fans roared over them pushing the film back a near year. So, let me explain what rushing is and why they did it here.

This was rushing because other below line things like contracts and actor stipulations weren't properly re-negotiated which had a specific and unique effect on the script. The desert Lois scene is the perfect example. This scene was really there for no other reason than to give Amy Adams something to do for the first two acts in a movie she shouldn't have even been in. If she wasn't already signed on for the next Superman film before they decided to do this film, this would have been another Jane from Thor in The Avengers rather than Pepper from Iron Man in The Avengers. But actor contracts being what they are, sometimes you're signed on to a certain amount of films, sometimes a certain amount of years, sometimes both. And since they didn't know when or if they'd make another Man of Steel (highly unlikely) they figured they better use her now and it would help continuity (eh!).

And the way they used the scene was atrocious. Yes, Superman killed the terrorist guy (if he ain't dead after slamming through all those walls, then he deserves his own superhero moniker), but how was the US government pinning the other deaths on him when they clearly came from bullets? Did they suspect Superman of carrying a glock? Superman just cappin' fools now? If so, where would he hide it? Maybe in the past he could've hidden it in his red underwear but he doesn't have those anymore, so... I felt indifferent about Jimmy Olson getting a bullet This dude wasn't cool with Supes but for a year and a half, and precisely two minutes screen-time. At least they gave him a cool CIA background.

This Fool Really Got Into The Tub With Naked, Wet Amy Adams With His Boots On. Nasty Bastard!

From then on, we see just how useless Lois is in this movie. Listen, I love me some Amy Adams; in fact, I modeled one of my main characters in my future #1 Bestseller mystery novel after her. If a movie is made of the book, I want her to play the role of Shanna, but she was more pointless than kindergarten safety scissors. She literally existed in the film for two reasons: to be saved by Superman, because I guess he doesn't already have a full world of people to save; and to be wet. That's not a misogynistic comment either. That woman is wet in every act of the movie. Listen, as a man I certainly can appreciate a thoroughly moist lady, but it's weird that Snyder has such an obsession and it stuck out to me. She was filmed naked in a bathtub (believe me they had to digitize out her nipples or use pasties because we saw a lot of boob), then she was wet in the rain, then she was inexplicably wet while swimming in a flooded building? Like, what the hell was that? Was that building supposed to be on the dock or not? Where the hell did all that water come from? And why did she toss the spear into the water anyway? Aquaman is gonna be so pissed at her in JL. She just littered something that had been in the ocean, was taken from the ocean, and then thrown back into the water for no reason. And when they whiffed at giving her something heroic to do, they trapped her beneath the water to make sure she got and stayed as wet as possible.
One Picture of This Beautiful Woman Getting Wet Because Why The Hell Not!; Courtesy Allure Magazine


DREAM SEQUENCES

Yeah, you didn't just expect for me to jump to a completely different subject without warning like that, did you? I could have kept talking about character development or continued the linear path of scene analysis but I didn't. Hell, the movie doesn't. Why should I?

Good question. Even better one: why so many dream sequences (Heath Ledger Joker voice)? Was this Batmanception? (OK, I deleted three sentences of jokes to make this shorter, but just know they contained Bryan Cranston, Bob Newhart and a Dallas-show reference.) We got psychic Bats (#PsychicBats) dreaming up a storm about what he expects of the future or Flashing sideways like the final season of Lost? What was that with the Flash? Was that a dream or legit time travel, or both? Can the Flash time travel into people's dreams now? And what was he wearing? Was that one of those kiddie Iron Man face-mask costumes? And why is Lois the key? What is she the key to? The last two questions I'll let slide until Justice League as I'm sure it was a future movie tie-in, but what wasn't. The dream sequences were plenteous and most of them didn't work. And while the desert Batman looked cool in the trailers, I thought he was actually stiff in that scene as opposed to the later scene in the warehouse. And the crazy thing is that he was rarely actually shown sleeping or in a bed when he had these nightmares (save for once). I guess late nights have him falling asleep any time.

So. Much. Sepia tone! 

I did enjoy Ben Affleck's Batman/Bruce Wayne. He was powerful, ominous, and frightening to look at when dealing with human adversaries. The trafficking-house scene: Amazing. However, with that said, I'm not sure this movie was good for kids under the age of 10. Yes the rating is PG-13 but we all know that full families attend these films. I can understand why the special edition Blu-Ray will be rated R. I'll hold off calling him the "quintessential" or "definitive" Batman as I just have to see him in more films first, but he was good. Honestly, it wasn't a stretch. He plays a rich guy with anger issues who feels passionately about crime. Who is Ben Affleck but a rich guy who feels passionately about certain things. All he had to do was properly growl and look pissed--easy to do when going through marital problems. Just sayin' (Kanye shrug).

INSERT Social Network Joke Here
The thing I didn't like was Eisenberg's Luthor. Some fans loved it, saying they understood Snyder's vision of the character and what he was going for fit the film. I didn't. I still don't know what he was going for, mainly because I didn't understand his motivations; in fact, nearly everybody had bland reasons pushing them to act for no other point than to push from one CGI-ladened scene to the next. I would contend that if Luthor's motivations were made clearer, it would have been a far superior film even with Batman and Superman's desires muddled.

MOTIVATIONS?

Why does he want them to fight so much? Why does he want to have the Kryptonite to deter Superman? Are we to believe it's because of his arrogance or superiority complex? Because he doesn't seem to have either of those in spades, at least not enough to want to destroy Superman. My thought was that he grew up feeling less-than because of his father being such a dominating man. Once his father died, he suddenly felt better, free, until he saw Superman and was again brought back to that feeling of inadequacy, but I had to do a lot of the legwork myself to come to that conclusion.

He's sporadic, twitchy and a nonstarter even as a villain. He's not manipulative enough, and his mental capabilities are not fully distinguished. Is he a scientist or just the CEO of his father's company. We don't really see him do anything exceptionally brilliant. The making of Doomsday is really microwave-ready Frankenstein: says a few words, cuts his hand, then waits. The only real time we see his motivation is during the courtroom scene which he isn't in. Side note: I can't believe they had the audacity to kill off the only Asian character in the film, let alone a woman that fine in a damn courtroom bomb. Like, this woman was his righthand and he didn't warn her or anything? That really made me wanna slap the piss outta somebody. Let me be a hound dog for a moment. She looked extra good. How did Batman not have a dream about her?

Even with the glasses, she is killing me. Good lord. Too much hotness in this film underutilized! 

Speaking of motivation, why did Batman and Superman fight, especially for what was, like, all of seven minutes of the 151-minute film? Seriously, why come to blows? To start, Superman had the most paper-thin reason I've ever seen. Essentially, he was acting as the moral compass for no apparent reason. He saw a news report on a Bat-vigilante who rescued multiple girls from sex trafficking and branded a criminal with his logo (God forbid he encountered Brad Pitt's character from Inglorious Bastards. His branding technique was far more severe) and helped cops. He saw no report about people fearing the Batman or the cops coming out against him. There was virtually no fear concerning Batman in Gotham city, save for a few criminals. Why go after him and tell him to stop? On top of that, the way that Superman did it was so... ugh, just stupid. It was akin to when you're little and you told your little brother or sister to stop touching you: "Like, um... that whole vigilante bat-thing you've been doing? Yeah, could you not anymore? Thanks!" That was legitimately almost the conversation. And Batman's trailer line, "Do you bleed... you will!" felt wasted. It felt akin to when your mom sends you to your room and you whisper back-talk to her to show how big you really are.

You Know How Much It'll Cost To Replace Those Batmobile Doors? Dude, Seriously? Now I wanna punch you!

Batman's motivations were nearly as thin. Listen, I get it. I understand the poetry, albeit blunt poetry, that Snyder was trying to infuse into the film. Bruce/Batman is broken, he feels powerless at the beginning of the film both during his parents death and Metropolis' destruction, his whole adult life (most of it at least) has been forcing control onto and into a world that doesn't make sense unless it bends to his will and ego of what's right and wrong, so once he sees himself having lost control again, he loses his way, essentially falling and flailing down into that cave once more, finding only darkness encapsulating him. I. Get. That! However, there was still a lacking reason for him to fight Superman in this film--and don't bring in the comics and say why they would fight there because the film is supposed to stand on its own, no supplementation. While I thought Bruce's plot to get the kryptonite--albeit it a muddled plot, which you really had to pay close attention to to understand (the dirty bomb thing seemed like a flippant mention and then the white Russian and blah blah blah!)--had merit because you would want to know how to beat the guy before encountering him, a proper Batman/detective would have taken something like that with them during an interrogation, rather than saying, "OK, I got it, so... let's fight to the death." This heroic figure who is shown (read: heard) interrogating a criminal at the beginning of the movie abandons that same mindset when confronted by Superman, this guy that is going around saving people. It's... strange. We'll have to wait to see Suicide Squad, but this actually gives more credence to the theory that the old Robin is the new Joker. Then, Batman's total demeanor would make sense because he wouldn't care if Superman was doing good now, because he knows that everyone eventually grows corrupt. Still, you couldn't just hash this out at the pub?

MARTHA!

No way I'm Letting Him Get away, Alfred... Unless his mom's named Martha
And then the Martha scene. Oh boy! Yes, I understand the Martha scene, too, and how it shows that we're all connected and the feeling that "all of our mothers are named Martha. We're all in this together, yes we are..." Sorry, I just went High School Musical for a minute (kinda after my time. Never saw it). There's a lot wrong with that scene just from a basic character standpoint which is why I say that Snyder doesn't know the character.

What does it mean when I say he doesn't know the character? Well, unlike a lot of comic fans, I'm not just talking about reading the comics. No, I'm talking about the basic aura and spirit around the reality that bred the comic book. I am from Ohio, Midwestern born and raised (shockingly, the Superman creators were also from Ohio... and Canada). The first Man Of Steel ticked some people off because it really didn't have the Midwestern Kansas-style values you'd expect. Listen, I don't know how people on the East or West coast are raised, but I've rarely heard the feeling here of, "Hide yourself from the world. They're not ready. You shouldn't try to be spectacular..." and so on. I remember Kevin Smith saying this was a part of the fabric of Midwestern values. No, it's not, unless it concerns your sexuality (yes, you'll hear that if you're Homo, Trans, Bi or Pan). What you'll mostly hear is, "What you're thinking is impractical. I'm not saying that you can't do it, I'm saying to keep your expectations in check for when you do pursue it. Well, if you want that then you better be ready to work your ass off to get it." Most of it is said in love. Sure, there are struggles but if all Midwesterners were telling each other and their kids that they can't or that they shouldn't do something, don't dare to be something, hide your natural gifts, then we wouldn't have a third of Hollywood and the music industry. The Midwest has birthed talent from Steve Harvey to Steven Spielberg, from Brad Pitt to Kanye West to Sarah Jessica Parker. Give me a break on the hide your talent crap!

Not Gonna Pretend This Picture Is Even Relevant Here
Why ramble on about the Midwest? I said that to say this, so few people in both the Midwest and the South ever call their parents by their first names. It just doesn't even occur to most of us, even in public settings. Why Superman would say Martha, instead of saying Mom is so foreign an idea for most people raised in the Midwest that it is one of the biggest things that rings untrue about the scene. Even if he is still trying to hold some semblance of a secret identity, it still doesn't make sense. You would say her full name or even call her Mrs. Kent. I know, it's a nitpick but because it is a pivotal--no, THE pivotal scene in the film I have to examine it as such. It sticks out so bad as going against the character, against the atmosphere in which he was raised, and is weak writing from so many perspectives, I just... ugh!

LET'S GO TO FILM SCHOOL

Speaking of weak writing and editing, let's go to film school for a minute. A lot of people have been talking about the pacing of the film and how it seems rushed and like a bunch of cut-scenes from a superhero montage from three to five different films. You wanna know why it feels like that (and this is one of the techniques that you have to watch for if you want to be a filmmaker)? Establishing shots.

Yeah, I know, you just went, "Huh?" This is screenwriting and editing 101: even when you want the film to be fast-paced and driving, you have to include a few establishing shots between scenes. The psychology behind this is similar to why when we speak publicly even the most professional orators still pepper their speech with ums and ahs, the brain needs time to process the overload of info coming from the five senses. Therefore, showing a shot where there's a stagnant frame or there's no music or both, or that has little going on for the eye to take in helps the mind and the eye catch up with each other in processing the information. Did anybody else walk away from the film or even sat inside watching thinking, "Wow! There's so much stuff going on in this film? I'm missing a lot of it." Yeah, that's because if you go back to see the film, you'll notice that during the editing process there are so few real establishing shots that don't have action or bombastic music in them that everything floods from one thing to the next. There's almost always a person in-frame.


Here's a clear example for Batman movie fans. Remember the opening scene in The Dark Knight Rises (above)? First we have the speech with Gordon, slow-moving and tone-setting. Then we see an empty field, even just for a second nothing is happening. Then the truck comes with Bane. Next they're on the plane. Again, two seconds of just watching an airplane with nothing else. Go back to BvS and you have a hectic cut-fest of back and forth between the cave and the murder, then the city destruction, then the kryptonite find and on and on. There is virtually no large sweeping shot of anything to let your brain catch-up. Even when you have a perceived slow scene like the divers readying to go get the kryptonite, you're still bombarded with information that forces you to recall MoS because of the World Building Machine laying in the background. There's never a visual breath that builds you up to a climax. In screenwriting you're supposed to aim to have a visual or dialogue climax once every three minutes or so which acts as a puzzle piece to build to the ultimate climactic conclusion. But this played like a constant orgasm: great for a minute, but starts to simmer, then fizzle as opposed to the opposite. The funny thing is that most viewers won't know any better and will attribute their feeling of boredom or being overwhelmed to too much action as opposed to choppy editing and too few establishment shots. Trust me, they may not seem that important, but they make a huge difference in modern cinema.

BUDGETING

Staying in the classroom, some fans have been floored and flabbergast at reports that a movie which cost 250 million to make and had a marketing budget of 150 million, tallying 400 million in costs would need to make over 800 million to break-even and make a profit. In fact, crazy numbers like this are always baffling to most people when they come out for these big films. Well, let me break it down for you as far as how I learned it when I was there. Disclaimer: My info is out-of-date and some of it may not be remembered correctly, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Studio Executives Explaining Why They Don't Care How People Feel about the film so long as it makes a Billi!

The total is 400, right? Why would the film need to make double that to break-even? Because of contract stipulations, above board and below board workers and affiliation cuts. To begin, the affiliation cuts are the easiest to explain. They are simply what the theaters, distributors, foreign language translators and extraneous marketers get from the movie. This is usually a percentage stipulated in long-held contracts that studios have with theaters. A common myth is that theaters don't make money on movies but on the extra stuff they try to sell you: food, candy, drinks. That is incorrect. The amount of profit they make on the films is actually quite large depending on the duration of the film's pull. In other words, the longer the film is able to maintain popularity and stay in cinemas, the more the theaters get. This is why studios like to make all their money in the first two weeks of a film's release because after that, the theaters start taking larger percentages of the ticket prices. As an example, a ten dollar ticket to see it opening weekend might net the studio six dollars, whereas the same ticket three to four weeks later might only net it two dollars or even one. Diminishing returns.

Next, we look at the second easiest thing to explain: the below board people. Movie budgets do not take into account the salaries or hourly wages of the people working at studio and production house levels. In other words, the day-job folks that do all the paperwork: finance department, art department, focus-group testing people, human resources, Bob from the mailroom. While these people's salaries are not paid by just one film, studios like to estimate how much money can be made from one film and may (some do, some don't) assign a certain percentage of each person's salary to be fulfilled by that film. For instance, if they estimate they can make 500 million on a film after affiliation costs, they'll use an equation to divide that money up amongst all the employees, to see how much they can get from each film. It gets into some complicated math as they do this for every movie they plan to release for the full year, then add that up. Each film gets a percentage attributed to it of how much of each person's salary it can pay.

I've Known Women Who Excite at Talking About Money. Well, I'm not like the Golddiggers You know. Burn!

Next, we have what is the most complicated, the contracted and above board individuals. They actually get the most of the film's money outside of the studio execs. Actor contracts these days can be very complex and so too, can producer and director contracts. Most of what you'll see reported on how much they made is based on their production salary. Say Ben Affleck got paid 20 million to do this film. OK, that's factored into the 250 million, right? Of course, but there's also back-end percentages and kicker percentages of possible revenue. I don't want to sound snobby here when I say this but I went to business school and before I push forward I just want to make sure everyone reading this knows the difference between profits and revenue as I may have some younger readers or people who never learned it. Revenue is the amount of money you make. Profit is revenue minus the amount of money you owe (also called liabilities). Some actor's contracts are signed up for kicker revenue percentages and not profit percentages, meaning once a certain threshold of money is earned at the box office, they start getting a percentage of every new dollar coming in regardless of whether the studio has broken even or not. Now, that may be outdated info, but this would also apply to producer contracts because they have their own companies and employees to pay off and can't risk making no money on a film which flops. It's also usually low for the first few weeks, but even something as low as, say, 2 percent going to a producer would mean 1 mil after they've already been paid a production salary. Of course, some producers don't do production salaries as they see it as taking away from the money to go toward the movie, but then demand much higher percentages above, say 5 percent or 5 mil without a salary from the 250. Actors do this, too, taking large percentages after the movie release.

By the time everything is accounted for, well over 50% of the film's revenue has been guaranteed or paid out to someone or other companies and businesses that aren't the studio. Hence, why they have to make more than double what the film cost to produce and market to actually make a profit.

HOW'S IT SOUND?

When I look at it now, I'm wondering why the ripped gray areas? 

Then there's the soundtrack. Listen, I love me some Hans Zimmer. Everything he's done and the current cinematic composers he's influenced, in my opinion, has been phenomenal. Musically, I believe that we are in the era of Zimmer just as during the 50s, 60s and early-70s we were in the era of Bernard Herrmann. But what can I say about this OST? To start, I'll say that as these movies continue to proliferate and expanded universes grow beyond comic books, the easiest way for you to tell who the real star of the movie is/the most important character, is to listen to the soundtrack. Be ye not fooled while watching the film, this was always supposed to be a Batman film with sprinkles of Superman and Wonder Woman. This soundtrack from Beautiful Lie to Their War Here to Must There Be A Superman to Black and Blue to This Is My World is moody, brooding and more operatic than need be at times. I have both the Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel's soundtracks on my phone. I use them as my walking music as I like the driving force of I Will Find Him, Imagine The Fire, Gotham's Reckoning, Terraforming, Arcade and a few others. I know the soundtracks well. While I enjoyed the hints and undertones of the Man Of Steel OST in this movie as it should have been, there was far too little of that. In place of the weird, alien, sci-fi-esque, self-discovery tone of a lot of MoS, they replaced it with the darker, heavier drums, violins and elongated siren sounds of The Dark Knight Rises. I know that Tom Holkenberg AKA Junkie XL was in charge of the Batman theme (yes, I have the Mad Max Fury Road OST on my phone, too, and did hear the references to it in this OST), and I do like that he took the old Danny Elfman Tim Burton Batman the Animated Series theme, inverted the melody and incorporated it into the soundtrack, but I still felt a lot of Dark Knight in this, more so than Superman or MoS.

Everybody Wanna Touch The New Person
Some of the cues they took from MoS weren't the things I expected them to take. One of the bizarre choices stood out to me in the Day of the Dead scene. The electric guitar there called back to This is Clark Kent but instead of building to have a cool hero-moment (something which this Superman still has not had in my opinion) they eased off and went into a more metronomic-Inception's Time kind of slog. Frankly, stepping back into the movie, I disliked that entire scene as it felt like fan service but in the worst way. A studio executive said, "They're crying about how superman doesn't do heroic stuff in MoS." Snyder: "Well, he doesn't really do much heroic stuff in this film either." Exec: "Well, give 'em a quick montage of him saving people and stuff. That'll shut 'em up." Don't get me wrong, I would love to work with WB and DC some day, but come on, give us more heroics than that. Even the Doomsday fight and his self-sacrifice didn't feel as... great as it could have.

Naturally, the best track on the OST was Is She With You, forever known now as Kickass Wonder Woman anthem. Listening to it first called me back to hints of Trent Reznor's version of Immigrant Song for Fincher's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. In a remix, I would use the opening warrior/immigrant cries in the Wonder Woman track. My only concern is that with Zimmer announcing just yesterday that he will no longer score superhero films, who will do the Wonder Woman score and whose influence was most used for this track: Tom's or Hans'? Because if it was Tom's, I hope he can build on its success through the Wonder Woman films. Abandoning that now would be a terrible waste.

Awesome Cameo, Even Better Soundtrack: Nailed It!

Overall, I would have to give the soundtrack a B. Another standout track would be the bonus of Fight Night as well as The Batman Suite Men Are Still Good but that just goes to say once again how Batman-centric it was. It wasn't as good as either Man Of Steel or The Dark Knight Rises, which I thought both had great soundtracks. However, I will give Snyder, Zimmer and Holkenberg credit as out of the three movies Batman v Superman was the only one not overscored in my opinion. Where I thought TDKR and MoS had too much music in the movie, this OST had far more quiet in it that did come into effect in the film.

I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined

As far as the film goes? Well, let's just say that I don't think this was the film that we needed nor deserved. Don't get me wrong, there were parts I loved and as a cinephile I am always swept up in the magic of a movie, even if it's bad. I just watched the cartoon movies of The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and caught plenty of pseudo-references to it in the film: the two cops going into the house at the beginning, Batman's leap from the building to dodge Doomsday's blast, the nuclear... radiation burn(?) that Superman got before being healed by the sun from the pasty zombie-esque whiteness (pretty cool effect I thought), and a few other tidbits, but I could not get all the way into this film for whatever reason. I didn't even have time to talk about the lazy cameos for everyone else in the Justice League, the near humorlessness of the film (hey, it's 2016. Superhero films are dark and apples don't cost a nickel anymore), the disappointment that Doomsday only underwent one transformation and still looked ridiculous, the thumbs up for giving the black dude from the first one a promotion to Secretary or the fact that everybody is kill-happy (for those saying that Batman never killed in this, please. Him smashing that guy's head in with the front of the batmobile when he flew into the side of that eighteen-wheeler should have been enough to take out anyone). I am probably bias as hell because it has long been my dream to do a Superman trilogy and a Justice League trilogy and I feel I can truly give people a great experience while still following the more realistic lines that WB has drawn. I also think I have a unique and fresh take on Batman sitting in my que for TV pitches which would totally blow people away.

Still the Best Shot of the film, but... eh, so what? 

Ultimately, I think that what most of the current filmmakers don't understand about Superman, and many people who have argued that you can't make him a compelling character because he's too perfect (total BS), is that just as much as Batman is framed and created from the death of his parents, Superman is framed, created and becomes who he is because of the life of his parents and how they lived and how they taught and how they felt about him and the world. If they see reason to reboot this universe in a short matter of time, I can only hope and work my ass off to try to be the person that they consider to bring this entire universe to life, because what they have right now... well, they damn sure tried.

CRAZY RUMOR TIME

That was the end of the review, so now it's time for me to start spouting off with the crazy. I will take this time to mention again how I called a certain spoiler-rific plot twist in the film back months before it came out after speaking with my friend at Warner Bros. Well, I talked to him again after seeing the film, and while I will not spill whether anything crazy or hectic is actually going on over at WB or if they're sweating out the second week returns for the film, I can tell you one thing he said which broke just yesterday. Yes, Ben Affleck has written a solo Batman film and is in line to direct it. What you may not know, however, is that the script (again, according to my friend) has been done for MONTHS. In fact, the film has been in a pre-production hold for months because of other Affleck projects and they wanted to see if people would like his Batman. Now that the reviews have come out, well... let's just say that they already have the money set aside for it.

With that said, here come my own theories and rumors. I will neither confirm nor deny if any of these things were actually told to me by my friend or if I'm just making it up, but it'll be fun to start some internet rumors, won't it? Yay!

I think... that Justice League Part one and Part two are canceled. Wait, let me rephrase that, they will not be canceled but combined. Instead of splitting it into two films, WB may condense it into one film but will still hold the release date for both. What will they put on whichever release date they vacate?


I think... they will put the solo Batman film on whichever date one of the two JL movies was supposed to release. Don't be shocked to hear that the new Batman solo film has been greenlit and will start production very soon. No, I am not saying that Batman would take the place of Justice League part one, but...

I think... it's very interesting that out of all the possible extraneous characters they could've announced for a JL movie, the first one they picked was Commissioner Gordon (JK Simmons rumored). Isn't that weird? One of Batman's helpers announced to be in JL weeks before BvS came out.

Look at my gigantic man chest! Yeah, you like these big muscles. They're intimidating but also say I like to cuddle.

I think... the start of JL will actually not be pushed back, or at least not by much from its April 4th start date. Why? Because I'm guessing that the studio already has it in their minds that if this weekend's take isn't big, they're not going to remove Snyder from the project, but rather make the next film a "co-directed by..." affair. Now who could they get to co-direct a Justice League movie with Snyder? Hm?

I think... that even if the films don't do well, we'll still see at least two Wonder Womans, one Flash and one Aquaman before they decide to reboot everything.

I think... that Suicide Squad will be the second movie to have an R-rated Blu-Ray release in this universe. It will probably undergo reshoots before it is released to make it more comic book audience friendly, but will still have a very similar tone to BvS.

Lastly, I think that we don't see another Superman movie in this universe. I can't see it happening on any front. Sorry Man of Steel fans. But then again, what do I know. These are all crazy rumors. Want another? That woman lying in Bruce's bed when he woke up that one time was actually Selina Kyle who will be in the Batman solo film. Want another? Wayne manor was burned down in a fight with the Joker who actually knows who Batman is in this version. Another still? Well, I don't have anymore. Sorry.

What do you think? Were you excited for this movie before it came out? How about now? Have you seen it and if so, what did you think about it? Did you love it or hate it? Again, all opinions are welcome so long as they don't denigrate someone else's opinion. What do you think will happen in the future with the franchises and the characters going forward? Should Warner Bros. just give DC back to Marvel already? Let me know in the comments below (hint: click the no comments button if you see no comments).

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Until next time, "The next time Krispy Kreme blasts their Hot and Fresh sign... don't answer!"


P.S. Yeah, I'm fat and I like donuts. So! But what the hell was up with that Batman signal? He just had his own personal light? Because it didn't look like it was on the police station, did it? Speaking of which, Gotham and Metropolis are that close? What? Since when? How has Clark not heard of Batman before, in that case? Oh wait, he only had lived there for the last 18 months and Batman had retired (the movie never really made that clear did it?). OK. Strange, because I thought the whole time that Metropolis was near Smallville in the first one, because of the proximity of all the fighter jets and stuff. Because Smallville is still in Kansas, right? And Kansas is still in the middle of nowhere, right? So where the hell is Metropolis and Gotham when they were flying back and forth in the first one? It looks like they're on a coast... but wait a minute, they kidnapped Martha and put her in Gotham city. What the hell? So Gotham and Metropolis would have to be at least within an hour or two from Smallville, right?
So, wait... are both cities in Kansas? Or maybe Texas or Colorado or Missouri? I don't know, dude. The closest I could think for a big metropolis like both of them would be Chicago. Are they in Illinois, then? Sure. Why not? Gotham and Metropolis are either somewhere in Kansas (crazy place to have two of probably the most violent cities in the country) or Illinois (surprisingly, more believable as far as the violent quotient goes). No way they could be on either coast, not New Jersey nor New York because of the timing of it all. I'm not believing Luthor would get away with flying his goons out to Kansas on a three to four hour flight, manage to fly them back without Superman noticing (super-hearing worked with Lois) only to place her in Gotham and not even Metropolis. Just... no!

P.P.S. Holy crap! I wrote this last night and edited it today. As I finished editing it, news broke that Suicide Squad will undergo reshoots to make it funnier. Ha! Still not going to confirm or deny whether I heard that from my friend or if that was just a rumor I made up. 

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