Black Adam comic book movie fatigue at it’s worst.

In ancient Kahndaq, Teth Adam was bestowed the almighty powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance, he was imprisoned, becoming Black Adam. Nearly 5,000 years have passed, and Black Adam has gone from man to myth to legend. Now free, his unique form of justice, born out of rage, is challenged by modern-day heroes who form the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.

Black Adam is a prime example of what people mean when they say they are having comic book movie fatigue, it’s a genre that’s been very successful over the last several years. The problem is a lot of studios see this as a money making opportunity rather than making good quality films. That’s where Black Adam comes in, while there are a few things to praise such as some of the action scenes actually being well done and the performances from Pierce Brosnan and Aidis Hodge who really do the best they can with such a limited script. Everything else is beat by beat comic book movie genre plot points, the ideas of Black Adam are interesting and does seem like the movie wanted to tackle more of the anti-hero parts of Black Adam but for whatever reason held back and actually felt very watered down. The characters are completely one note and if you were to take some of them out of the movie nothing would change, like the ideas of the movie I like the concept of the characters it’s just a shame we never get to learn about them. Cyclone (played by Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (played by Noah Centineo) seem like neat characters but they mostly just serve to be part of a team in this case “The Justice Society”. Doctor Fate (Brosnan) and Hawkman (Hodge) get a bit more development but not by much, it does seem like the movie was trying to explore more with their characters but halfway through just said “screw it”. Dwayne Johnson gives a fine enough performance as Black Adam, it’s truly nothing special as it is what you expect it to be, the villain is easily one of the most forgettable villains in these comic book movies and that’s truly saying something given how many forgettable villains have shown up in the last few years. Ishmael Gregor who becomes Sabbac (played by Marwan Kenzari) has no personality outside of being evil and wanting to destroy everything, finally there’s the writing that really just can be summed up by saying it’s been done better before. There’s such a lack of trying to go more than surface level with the movie’s ideas which in the end truly hurts the movie, it’s a shame because Jaume Collet-Serra is actually a very solid director who’s done some great work in the past such as The Shallows, House Of Wax (2005) Orphan and Run All Night. I’m sure this isn’t going to be the end for Black Adam and maybe in the future the character as well as the other characters will get far more development because this movie really didn’t do much.

Black Adam is currently in theaters.

4/10 D+

Batman and Superman: Battle Of The Super Sons is a fun addition to the Tomorrowverse.

Jonathan Kent and reluctant young sidekick Damian Wayne are burdened with saving the world from impending doom. The two must join forces to rescue their fathers and save the planet by becoming the super heroes they were intended to be.

Batman and Superman: Battle Of The Super Sons is the sixth installment of the Tomorrowverse, this one is pretty straightforward, it focuses on the sons of Batman and Superman Johnathan Kent and Damian Wayne. As far as characters go this one does a fine enough job, the father and son bond of Clark and Johnathan is genuinely really sweet and makes for some corny yet genuinely funny humor. So at the very least the movie has heart, where it lacks is mostly an interesting villain and story wise. The villain is Starro the conqueror which I do like the concept of but it’s just another “people are brainwashed” type scenario. The voice cast are quite great as well, Laura Bailey and Jack Dylan Grazer being the standouts who add quite a lot to their characters. Story wise this is again very straightforward which isn’t necessarily bad it just does a lot what you expect it to, it plays out like how a Saturday morning action cartoon show would. However the team up of Damien and Johnathan is genuinely charming and a lot of fun, which by far makes this movie worth a watch.

Batman and Superman: Battle Of The Super Sons releases on VOD Platforms October 18th

6/10 C+

Green Lantern: Beware My Power is a weak entry in the Tomorrowverse

When a Power Ring is bestowed upon former Marine John Stewart, it leads him on a life-changing mission. With Justice League member Green Arrow and Thanagarian Hawkgirl by his side, Stewart is thrown into a complicated galactic war.

Green Lantern: Beware My Power is the newest installment of the new DC Animated Universe the Tomorrowverse. The DC Animated Movie Universe finished with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War in 2020 (a pretty solid ending) the Tomorrowverse began with Superman: Man Of War a few months later in August 2020 so far there’s been 5 films…Superman: Man Of War, Justice Society World War II, Batman The Long Halloween Parts 1 and 2 and finally Green Lantern: Beware My Power.

Green Lantern: Beware My Power I was a bit interested in mainly due to John Stewart’s version of The Green Lantern who was one of my favorite characters from The Justice League TV series back from 2004. The movie serves as an origin story for the character but unfortunately the writing really hurts this movie. The movie starts out fine enough, it does a decent job of introducing Green Arrow, Hawk Girl and a few others and there’s even some decent action scenes as well. The animation is also pretty solid with a few scenes in particular that are actually pretty well done, the main problem is despite the movie being about John Stewart that gets lost during the midpoint of the movie, he ends up being in the middle of all these other characters and their problems. The focus suddenly switches to them rather than Stewart and just leaves any fan of John Stewart’s Green Lantern very disappointed, the voice acting is at least decent giving each of the characters their own personality. The plot however is very Saturday morning cartoonish outside of a few scenes it really doesn’t dive deep into the characters and is very very surface level. Unless you know these characters you aren’t going to get a whole lot of information about them here. Overall it’s not a terrible movie but it is a pretty disappointing one, that had the writing been a lot better could have made for something interesting.

Green Lantern Beware My Power is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C+

Injustice is both a messy and failed adaption.

The story takes place on an alternate Earth in which the Joker has tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane, sending the hero on a rampage. This unnhinged Superman decides to take control of Earth for its own good, leading Batman and his allies to attempt to stop him.

Sometimes you watch certain movies and just say “this should have been a series” Injustice is one of those movies, I was pretty excited when I heard that a movie was being made, plus it’s directed by Matt Peters who directed Justice League Dark: Apokolips War one of the best DC Animated movies in recent memory. Injustice is a massive disappointment there’s a few things to enjoy such as some of the action scenes and a few moments (and when I mean few I mean a few because good lord) where the writing isn’t surface level and attempts to try and keep the story interesting. That’s where the good parts end because Injustice is a complete and total mess writing wise and tone wise, the tone constantly switch’s back between being incredibly dark to being a friendly Saturday morning cartoon. During one scene you would have a character getting brutally murdered and the next scene you will have Green Arrow or Harley Quinn cracking jokes (I don’t mention Plastic Man because I actually didn’t mind those jokes as much.) but let’s talk about the bigger issue the writing, I feel like the writers had no idea what to do with Injustice so they kind of just wrote random scenes as it went on. It doesn’t help that a lot of the scenes feel like a clipshow that I’m sure would confuse a lot of people who aren’t too familiar with Injustice. It doesn’t help that the writing is very surface level and has no interesting elements in it at all, they really could have explored some of the characters but instead a lot of the characters are just there to be killed off. Which yes is to be expected but it doesn’t feel impactful at all, it just feels like they had no idea what to do with said character so they killed them off. And that all traces back to how lazy and bare minimum the writing is, it’s such a massive disappointment because I really do think this had potential. Overall Injustice is as I said multiple times very disappointing, this is a prime example of something that could have easily worked as a series but instead we get a lazy movie that was sent out for a quick buck.

Injustice is available on all VOD Platforms!

1/10 F

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is both compelling and a solid addition to the MCU!

Martial-arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Shang-Chi was definitely a surprise for me, from the trailers they really played this like your typical MCU origin story that was going to just sort of exist and that would be the end of it. That is not the case with Shang-Chi in fact it does far far more than just being an origin story! The cast does quite an incredible job Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Meng’ er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh especially! Speaking of which Tony Leung Chiu-wai is great as the villain which is Mandarin. He’s one of the better MCU villains that actually got development although it could have been a bit more. The action scenes are what really make this movie, particularly the combat which a ton of scenes use martial arts. One scene in particular (if you have seen it you will immediately know which one I’m talking about) is truly beautiful, the filming, the acting and marital arts. It all adds into that scene to truly make it standout and turn it into something the MCU really hasn’t done before, Shang-Chi also does have a lot of heart as well as there are some very touching moments between the characters. Writing wise the first two acts in particular are very strong, some of the best of phase four in the MCU so far. The flaws come in with the final act which while it’s definitely not bad, it feels a little bit rushed at times and sort of falls apart in a lot of moments. The CGI has it’s weird moments where it’s quite great while in others it doesn’t look so great. But overall Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a huge surprise for me, director Destin Daniel Cretton did a very solid job with this film! Definitely check it out!

Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings is now in theaters!

8/10 B+

The Suicide Squad (2021) Movie Review!

The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world — Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, Harley Quinn and others — to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave.

Before I start talking about The Suicide Squad I’m just going to warn you right now that it’s going to be next to impossible (at least for me) to talk about this film in great detail (or any detail for that matter without making my review sound boring) without including some spoilers. Don’t worry I’m going to include when the spoilers are and when they end so you skip around the review, thank you for understanding on to the review! So The Suicide Squad is directing by James Gunn who previously did the two Guardians Of The Galaxy films both of which I consider some of the best of the MCU (heck GOTG 2 is my favorite of the MCU) so I was pretty excited for The Suicide Squad….and this really surpassed my expectations, right from the beginning SPOILER ALERT the film kind of does a Scream type element in this case with Michael Rooker and his character Savant who you would expect to live but he dies very quickly along with some other characters! SPOILER ENDS so let’s talk about performances and a few characters, well for starters Viola Davis does such a fantastic job as always like in the 2016 movie Viola Davis absolutely kills it as Amanda Walker, casting her back in the role was such a smart move and her character shines even more in this film. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn like Viola Davis as Amanda Walker have become the equivalent of Hugh Jackman as Logan, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool where you can’t see anyone else doing those roles. Margot Robbie completely owns the character at this point and she does just as amazing in this film as she has in the other movies, she’s also given a script that really makes Harley Quinn really interesting and quite hilarious as well! Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag is quite incredible, his character is a lot of fun and truly one of my favorite parts of film SPOILER AHEAD his death I thought was the most impactful of the film, it’s an effective death that I was honestly not expecting at all. SPOILER ENDS John Cena as Peacmaker I wasn’t too sure how that was going to go but he really did an excellent job, he brought a lot to the character between a lot of hilarious moments and the serious moments that are quite brutal as well. Peacemaker is the complete opposite of Rick Flag which I found quite interesting it being a Ying and Yang type thing. Sylvester Stallone as King Shark is just a lot of fun and has some of the most hysterical moments sure there wasn’t a lot of development but did there really need to be? It’s a shark that says “nom nom” before eating people giving us some fantastic kills and gore throughout the film! Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 was a surprise for me, see a lot of the marketing didn’t focus on her character yet she was a lot of the heart of the film, I’ll get more into that when I get into more of the writing (I promise we are almost done with the characters and performances, I told you on Twitter I had a lot to say now didn’t I?) she gets some really strong character development that is actually quite meaningful and really cares for her teammates (oh and Sebastian the Rat is quite fantastic as well.) Finally I saved the best for last…Idris Elba as Bloodsport, whoever made this casting decision deserves a raise because this is one of the best performances so far this year. Idris Elba delivers so much into the film from being hilarious to a ton of character development through his past and his bond with his teammates Idris Elba truly knows how to lead a film and this just proves it even more. Plus his character is an overall badass who gives us some great kills and gore, the bit of the beginning of the film with Storm Reid sets a perfect tone for his character someone who can be full of humor but also be very serious at the same time. Now let’s get into the writing, as I said earlier Ratcatcher 2 is a lot of the heart of the film, it’s mostly due to the writing which blends a lot of comedy, action and the character development moments extremely well. They are all given certain moments to shine in the film, one moment you have some comedic bits with King Shark or Harley Quinn, other moments you will have action moments with most of the main characters that lead to some fantastic stunts, a clear camera that doesn’t shake every 25 seconds and some fantastic kills and gore lastly you will have the character development moments like with Ratchatcher 2, Bloodsport and a few others! It’s a fantastic blend that has not worked well for a lot of films, but works here perfectly which leads me to James Gunn’s direction. James Gunn really knows how to take the source material and make it his own, he’s shown that with the GOTG films and he’s once again shown it here, he creates an atmosphere of fun elements, character development elements and really brings you into the experience. It’s truly quite amazing how much Gunn packs into the film 2 hours and 12 minutes may seem long but it’s truly not with the film’s pacing. It’s one of those films that doesn’t even feel like it’s 2 hours, mostly due to so much going on that it keeps you invested thinking “who’s going to make it out alive.” Overall The Suicide Squad is a fantastic film and hands down one of my favorite films of 2021, I can easily see why a lot of people have been calling this “one of the best comic book films” because it does everything it’s supposed to and adds so much more into it! I highly recommend seeing this one!

The Suicide Squad is now available in Theaters and On HBO Max!

10/10 A+

Black Widow (2021) Movie Review!

Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

A Black Widow solo movie was an obvious choice to happen at some point….it’s too bad it happened way too late. With that said Black Widow is one of those MCU movies where I lost interest for quite some time until maybe a couple weeks before it’s release when I became interested. Black Widow unfortunately does very little to change up anything in the MCU, I’ll start with what I really liked because I certainly don’t think this is a bad movie by any means. The opening I thought was actually pretty well done combined with the cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit (which was actually used in the trailer for The Gallows) was pretty great and a very dark atmosphere to it….it’s just a huge shame the rest of the movie couldn’t live up to that. Florence Pugh gives a fantastic performance and is the reason why I would say to check it out if you want. She has so much power in her role and really delivers whenever she’s on screen, she continues to show why she’s one of the best actresses working today. I will give Black Widow this it definitely makes me excited to see Florence Pugh’s future in the MCU. Finally there’s a few action scenes which I liked nothing mind blowing but a lot of fun and then the end credit scene which I won’t spoil but I found it interesting. Now on to the problems I had with Black Widow, for starters the movie itself felt like it was playing way too safe to the point where it starts to dip into below average territory. The pacing was dreadful combine that with the running time that goes by painstakingly slow and it becomes a very uninteresting movie. The writing while it does have it’s moments is really nothing special at all, the biggest problem however is with the villain “Taskmaster” which is another case of the MCU taking a fantastic villain that has so much potential and completely failing. The only way I’m going to be able to talk about this is if I give some slight spoilers so skip if you haven’t seen it! Anyway the reveal of Taskmaster is completely ridiculous it’s a character who had a total of 3 lines in the entire movie, I am all for changing the character however said character must have actual development and build up which isn’t what happened here. It’s the equivalent of Roy Burns being reveled as the killer in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning a character who had a total of one scene (as far as I remember). So seeing this happen in Black Widow is very baffling to be quite honest, finally there’s the rest of the cast which all do a fair job but nothing absolutely spectacular Rachel Weisz I will say other than Florence Pugh is another standout! Overall Black Widow is one of the movies in the MCU that really could have been more, however they went with the safest option. Being safe is not always a bad thing and I get the MCU is going to have it’s not so good movies like any other franchise. However by the end Black Widow only leaves you with being excited for Florence Pugh and not much else.

Black Widow is now in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access!

5/10 C

Batman The Long Halloween, Part One (2021) Movie Review!

During the holidays, a brutal series of murders strike fear into the city of Gotham. Batman sets out to pursue the serial killer with the support of police officer James Gordon and district attorney Harvey Dent.

Batman The Long Halloween, Part One is newest DC animated movie the animated movies have definitely had their ups and downs over the years, so I was very interested how this one would turn out. Luckily it’s a very solid one that does a lot quite a lot right to give a satisfying movie to a two part series. Naya Rivera (R.I.P.) was quite great as Catwoman she does pretty well diving into the character which is quite great. The rest of the cast did very well, the writing is a very interesting the story focuses on Batman doing detective work which I always appreciate when shown, the story itself is surprisingly a slow burn that I wasn’t sure if that was going to work but did end up working in this movie’s favor. The movie is a lot less action packed as it’s more plot development or looking at some of the information and background for certain characters, the animation I thought was also really solid especially when combined with the score and sound design, it gives the film a more interesting and unique feel to it that separates it from a lot of other DC animated movies. I’m really excited to see where Part Two goes with the story!

Batman The Long Halloween Part One is now available on VOD platforms!

Batman The Long Halloween Part Two releases July 27th on VOD Platforms!

7/10 B

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Movie Review!

Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

Before I begin as always this is a NO SPOILER REVIEW! So first a bit of background history, as you know Zack Snyder stepped down from filming Justice League due to his daughter’s tragic suicide. Joss Whedon took over and what came out was a movie that was missing a lot of scenes, felt rushed, was way too tonally different in different parts of the movie and was overall a gigantic mess. The Snydercut took awhile to come out but luckily it did, some people may not know this about me but I’m a huge fan of lost media and seeing it be found. The Snyder Cut fits into that category very well, with that said before going into this movie I was a lot more interested in the movie as I was excited for it. But I love surprises and the Snyder cut really surprised me, I was originally a bit concerned about the running time but this is some of the fastest four hours I’ve sat through. Some major differences from this movie and the 2017 cut are a lot of Cyborg and The Flash’s character development which is absolutely incredible. Especially with Cyborg, Ray Fisher knocks it out of the park and brings such a emotional and powerful role into the film, his story is really fleshed out and makes you care about Cyborg. Where as in the 2017 cut Cyborg just felt like an afterthought, the same can be said with Erza Miller they did a great job in their role and brought a lot of life in The Flash’s character! The rest of the cast does a really solid job as well except for a few….Amber Heard’s role shows once again that she can’t act, luckily she isn’t in the movie for that long! The other being Jared Leto who still is not a good Joker, he’s barely in it luckily but those few minutes he is there doesn’t help him out. Part of the problem is Ben Affleck and Jared Leto have no chemistry whatsoever so the whole dialogue just felt very awkward. One of the best things about the Snyder Cut is Steppenwolf’s character development, which was nonexistent in the 2017 cut but is shown quite a lot here. It does a good job of making the audience take him seriously as a villain, plus when you add Darkseid into the mix you got yourself some great villains! The action scenes are a lot better as well, much more detailed, much more story to them and context as well. Which leads me to why the Snyder Cut is much better…context. The 2017 cut felt like a bunch of out of context scenes mixed together which is why it was a complete and total mess, but you get the full context here, the full reasons why certain events are happening, why certain characters chose certain actions and so much more. The difference is night and day that the Snyder Cut is basically it’s own movie. The only main criticism I have with the movie is I do feel the epilogue went on for a little too long and you did feel the length of it during that segment. They could have trimmed the epilogue a bit and kept everything else, because that’s only my major criticism. The rest of the film is quite incredible, I’m not the biggest Zack Snyder fan out there (this is definitely his best film since the Dawn Of The Dead Remake) but I have always appreciated him as a person and always found him interesting. He did such an incredible job here and I can’t wait to see what he does next, I’m glad his vision eventually got released even if it did take awhile. I highly recommend checking this one out!

9/10 A

Quick Reviews: Synchronic (2020) and Batman Soul Of The Dragon (2021)

Two New Orleans paramedics’ lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.

Synchronic is a very decent Sci-Fi Thriller that really shows some huge talent from Anthony Mackie and surprisingly Jamie Dornan as well as the rest of the cast! The direction from Justin Benson director of The Endless and Spring (both fantastic films) does a really great job of creating a very solid and thrilling atmosphere. Synchronic does take awhile to get going, but once the movie gets going it’s a very fun experience. The writing is a lot of fun with some great moments that build the atmosphere, while Synchronic might be weaker than The The Endless and Spring it’s still a solid movie that I recommend checking out.

7/10 B

In the 1970s, a missing teacher of martial arts is the subject of a quest by his devoted and brilliant but distant students, who include Batman.

Batman Soul Of The Dragon is the newest DC animated movie, I have a love and hate relationship with these movies. They either go in one or two ways either they are good or they are bad. Soul of the Dragon is pretty alright it has some decent action scenes and some pretty decent characters to back it up. The movie is heavily flawed however, the animation is really not that great. Especially when you compare it to a lot of the other DC animated movie’s animation this looks just terrible in comparison. My other huge issue is Batman is just sort of there, sure he does get involved in the story but he really doesn’t do much. I wouldn’t mind this that much if the villains were interesting…sadly they aren’t. They are the most generic villains you could think of, it’s a huge shame because I understand what the movie was trying to go for. Which was something very simple but unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit. Soul of the Dragon definitely is not a bad movie, it has a ton of fun moments and as I said some of the other characters are interesting this is just one of those DC animated movies that really does not standout all that much.

6/10 C+