Kyle’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2022!

Now that we firmly have 2021 in the rearview mirror, let’s look forward to the movies of 2022, which still shockingly contain some movies originally scheduled for 2020 and 2021. Shockingly, the movies on last year’s most anticipated all actually came out, so let’s hope that by me placing these films on the list that I’m sending good omens their way.

Either way, we’ll celebrate the (possible) films of 2022 that I’m most excited to see. It’s almost as good as actually seeing them.

Just a couple notes, as always:

  • These films are my Most Anticipated, not what I think will end up on my Top Ten of the year come next January. In fact, only 2 films from last year’s list made it to the Top Ten, and that seems fair.
  • There always tend to be a lot of blockbusters on these lists, but that’s because their production schedules are much longer, and their recognizability is easier to connect to. That’s just the way it works, but my favorite films of this year might even be ones I haven’t heard of at the current moment. Big movies get big attention earlier than little ones, so take that as you will.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT A COUNTDOWN. IT’S JUST A LIST AND THE FILMS ARE IN ORDER OF (TENTATIVE) RELEASE DATE.

We’ve waited long enough, let’s dive in…

Scream

  • Okay, yes, this movie is already out and I’ve already seen it, but before I had seen it, it had made it to my Most Anticipated list due to the trailers and the early reviews from colleagues with similar tastes to mine. I loved the idea that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett had moved from Ready of Not to this franchise, as that film also had a satirical viewpoint and a serious horror tinge. I was excited to see our core cast of characters return to usher in some new Ghostface fodder, and the screenplay by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and Guy Busick also interested me as they might bring in some new flavor to the franchise. How did it turn out? You’ll find out soon enough.

The Batman

  • There are a few interesting DC projects coming in 2022, but I’m not picking this one because it’s Batman. I love Batman, but I’m selecting The Batman because of Matt Reeves. I’ve been a big fan of Reeves ever since Cloverfield, one of the best found-footage films ever. He also surprised me with his vampire remake Let Me In and then blew me away with TWO incredible Planet of the Apes movies, redefining genre and franchise filmmaking with the once-thought unlikeliest of IP properties. The trailers look great, seeing Batman as an unhinged detective seems like a great idea, and the dynamic with Selina Kyle looks exciting and tense, but if I were to pick one character that won me over, it’s Paul Dano’s Riddler, seemingly modeled after the Zodiac killer. There’s nothing here that doesn’t work for me, though I was sad to hear that this will be disconnected from the Batman character of the DCEU (it could’ve made a hell of a prequel, one would assume), but in Matt Reeves I trust.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

  • See, they won’t all be franchise films! A few years back, the filmmakers collectively known as Daniels released Swiss Army Man, one of the most baffling films of the decade or, perhaps, ever, featuring Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse. Now, flash forward to 2022, where they (FINALLY) have a new movie, this one starring Michelle Yeoh as a Chinese immigrant who learns that she has an infinite number of alternate lives spread across a multiverse and she will need them all to save the world. Yeah, that’s a movie, and it’s happening. Every time I see this trailer, I am just enamored with all the What-The-Hell-Is-Happening that is racing from the screen to my brain. I’ve purposely not been looking up more info on this film as I just want to experience it as soon as possible, as Daniels have a very interesting visual flair that looks to be a part of this new feature as well. Check out the first trailer if you need to know more.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

  • Okay, so yes, even I can admit that The Crimes of Grindelwald was a bit of a letdown. In fact, the last Fantastic Beasts is my least favorite movie in the Wizarding World, not something you want as you expand your world and franchise, but it does seem like Warner Bros is righting the ship. Steve Kloves, screenwriter of seven Harry Potter films, stepped in to co-write the screenplay, and I have faith that David Yates can learn from the mistakes of the predecessor, this being his seventh film in the franchise as well. Even at its worst, The Crimes of Grindelwald certainly expanded upon the world in ways that even fans of the Harry Potter books did not see coming, and there are still a lot of great elements at play throughout the film, and the first trailer for The Secrets of Dumbledore seems quite exciting, so I will have faith in this new installment.

The Northman

  • Robert Eggers has done some truly impressive work with both The VVitch and The Lighthouse, both films that have further improved themselves with each rewatch. The VVitch is a regular Halloween season pick at my home, and The Lighthouse is a year-round rotation. The Northman’s first trailer showcased an impressive world and an even more impressive cast. The film looks to be Eggers’s most ambitious film to date, one that combines the mysticism and horror of his two previous outings into a bloody, violent tale of revenge. With the underrated Alexander Skarsgard in the lead and a well-rounded supporting cast including Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and freaking Bjork all adds up to a very interesting project.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

  • I limited myself to one MCU pick and, even though Thor: Love and Thunder is mighty interesting, I kind of know the flavor I’ll be getting with that one, but Sam Raimi returning to the world of superhero cinema and going all in on what is being reported as an MCU horror film (let’s be fair, though, this is still a Disney production) is very interesting. Now, I’m praying that this film doesn’t end up a cameo nightmare. Spider-Man: No Way Home utilized its nostalgia to its benefit, but it came very close to toppling under its own fan service. I want a Doctor Strange movie that is focused on Strange, Wanda, and the Multiverse itself, not on cheap cameos and appearances of non-canon characters. I trust that Sam Raimi found something worth his return to the subgenre, and the idea of Baron Mordo returning, the potential of a villainous Scarlet Witch, and some alternate evil Doctor Strange could work very well in the favor of this movie. As much as I enjoyed the original Doctor Strange, it didn’t fully embrace the bonkers madness of the title, so I want to see what a more confident follow-up can do now that the first film set the character in motion.

Salem’s Lot

  • 2022 also has a few interesting Stephen King adaptations incoming. While the new take on Firestarter certainly seems like a winner, I’m limiting myself to one here, and Salem’s Lot is one of my favorite King novels. I enjoyed Tobe Hooper’s original miniseries but the budget wasn’t there. The 2006 miniseries adaptation is often forgotten in the discussion, but I rather enjoyed that version as well, even if it had to forego some of that sweet, sweet gore to satisfy networks. Ah, but this year, Gary Dauberman (who penned the It movies as well as some Annabelle films and directed Annabelle Comes Home) is helming this new adaptation, produced by James Wan. Now, not everything penned by Dauberman has been gold, and not everything produced by Wan has fully worked, but even the chance that this new version of the classic vampire tale works has be all giddy. Bring it on, and bring on that sweet, sweet gore.

Mission: Impossible 7

  • There’s only been one bad Mission: Impossible film, and that was over two decades ago! Not only that, but the franchise has taken on bigger and more epic action set pieces without sacrificing what made the more-restrained original so much fun. M:I works because of the team dynamic, and even though the team has had some shuffling, the series has always evolved for the sake of elevating the action above the general fare. Say what you will about the truly-unhinged Tom Cruise, but the man knows how to execute the good bit of no-holds-barred intensity, and especially following up on Fallout, seeing this M:I 7 as the first of a planned two-parter only adds to the level of high-octane eagerness I feel for the next Ethan Hunt mission, no matter how impossible it may seem.

Halloween Ends

Halloween Kills might be my favorite Halloween film since the original. After multiple viewings, including the Extended Cut, that seems to be the case. It’s a movie that made the 2018 Halloween film better by how it followed through, and if Halloween Ends can bring the story home in a satisfying way, that’ll just mean the world to this horror fanboy. I grew up with Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Chucky. Well, Freddy and Jason have been dormant for over a decade, and Chucky is doing well on his own path from home video releases to television but seeing a movie on the big screen from one of these horror juggernauts will always excite me.

Avatar 2

Lastly, we come to Avatar 2, a movie that probably should’ve come out years ago. People like to dunk on Avatar, but it became the highest-grossing movie of all time and kept that record for 10 years (and continues to fight for dominance with Avengers: Endgame even now), and it was a theatrical experience unlike any other. Don’t bother bringing your comparisons to Dances with Wolves and Fern Gully and Pocahontas because I’ve heard them all before. We tend to forget that every story has been told a thousand times before; it’s all in how to tell you, and James Cameron told it very uniquely, conjuring up not only an epic world with loads of mythology but also crafting the technology with which to do it. I firmly believe it became popular to hate on this movie purely because of its box office prowess and its Best Picture nomination, and while the film has its imperfections, I loved the world and the awe that unfolded before me. As far as Avatar 2 goes, I have come to learn in my years not to doubt James Cameron. He’s a director that has consistently tested himself and improved his skills, and every new film he conquers leads to further advancements in filmmaking. So bring it on, Avatar 2, let’s see this single finally become a franchise.

So there you have it. Hopefully we will end up seeing all of these hit theaters at some point in 2022, as long as we stay vigilant and safe. 2021 was a solid year to return to the cinema, and 2022 looks to be just as great. Comment below with the films you are most excited to see in 2022, and let’s have a great year in movies.

-Kyle A. Goethe

Kyle’s Ten Worst Films of 2021

I debated a bit about doing a Worst Films list this year. I avoided it last year, mainly because I only saw 30 movies from 2020 by the end of the year. 2020 sucked enough as it was, and I just didn’t feel like piling on, and I wasn’t sure I’d bring it back, but I was convinced by another critic who said that part of discussing the movies you love means being able to discuss the movies you didn’t love.

Making a movie is hard. It’s really hard. I’m sure if I made a movie every year, it would show up on the bottom list of at least one person. Film is subjective.

We’re going to break down the worst films of last year, to me. I’m going to showcase the movies that just didn’t work for me and try to explain what about them didn’t work. The best kind of criticism is constructive, so let’s get started on the movies that failed to connect with me as a film fan.

Just a few notes, once again, because we have to say this or someone will inevitable Not Get It:

  • I didn’t see every movie that came out in 2021. I saw a considerable number, but movies escape and, to be honest, I didn’t go out of my way to see movies that were not well-reviewed by my peers or movies that I didn’t have an interest in.
  • This is my personal list. You may have liked some of these movies. I just didn’t. Subjectivity is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? If you disagree with one of my picks, drop a comment defending the movie. I love the discussion.
  • I still have not seen The Emoji Movie from 2017. Deal with it.

Let’s get started…

  1. Space Jam: A New Legacy
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy makes a great argument for why the first film is actually pretty great. The original Michael Jordan-led Space Jam is fun and nostalgic but not a great film by any stretch. It just has that lighting-in-a-bottle weirdness that fused a popular NBA star with the Looney Tunes and somehow made it watchable. Seeing this long-awaited sequel just showcases all the ways that the original film surprisingly works. A New Legacy is one of those films that just makes you scratch your head more than anything. It’s a piece of studio-created 115-minute merchandising reel that just shows off a lot of IP, but does nothing interesting with them, and the IP sidelines the Looney Tunes, almost like WB didn’t have faith in them to begin with. Add to that a LeBron James in the lead role with zero charisma (something that Jordan had in abundance) and the film just bores. Also, the actual basketball has no tension or stakes because there are all these Style Points where players get extra points for looking cool. The fact that Warner Bros is the ultimate enemy here is really funny though, as A New Legacy lit up the studio before The Matrix Resurrections stepped in to finish the job. I haven’t even mentioned the weird IP characters in the crowd. When you have someone who isn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the Mr. Freeze that is from Batman & Robin in the crowd, who is that for? Wouldn’t WB own the rights to his portrayal of the character within their Serververse? I mean, the logistics of the in-universe logic are head-scratching, and who was the target audience for putting the nuns from Ken Russell’s The Devils in this film? WB won’t even release The Devils, yet they’ll put reference to it in a family film. I’m just so confused by it all.
  1. Night of the Animated Dead
  • I had a lot of faith in this one. It had the Warner Bros Animation stamp of approval (and the animated DC stuff is quite good), and it was a new stylized retelling of a classic horror zombie film. I’m just frustrated by the budgetary choices on this one. They mostly reused George A. Romero’s classic script about a group of people holed up in a farmhouse as the dead rise to devour the living, so no money spent there. So why spend money getting recognizable names to do the voice and spend literally pennies to actually animate the damned thing? This is one of the ugliest-looking movies. Perhaps the point of the film was a meta-commentary on zombies because the finished product is a soulless cash-grab. I kind of love that Night of the Living Dead is in the public domain so that anyone can go in and do their take on the timeless story, but the poster sells a style that the movie cannot deliver, and there isn’t a notable win in any place throughout the film. Mostly, I’m mad I spent 10 bucks to see it. This is one that could’ve been so much more.
  1. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin
  • Cash-grab might be one of the themes for this list. The idea of the Paranormal Activity franchise returning seemed like a really great thing. Saw returned this year as well, so it’s only natural to bring back the other powerhouse horror franchise from the 2000s. They even had Christopher Landon writing the script and William Eubank (Underwater) directing, so the pieces looked in place. It also had a new setting with new characters but seemed, at least on the surface, to have some surprising connections to the original mythos. Alas, this didn’t happen. Next of Kin was Paranormal Activity in-name-only, a found-footage film that frequently ignores the rules of found-footage with a lackluster plot, uninspired characters, and an ending that falls flat, but more than that, I was hoping this film would have some way of further expanding on the mythology that fans have come to love, but Next of Kin doesn’t really do anything with its run time that would merit remembering. I…was…bored. Not a great sign for a horror movie, and Next of Kin is probably the worst of its franchise.
  1. The Ice Road
  • Jonathan Hensleigh has written some great movies, and he even directed one in 2004’s The Punisher, but this is a far cry from those films. The Ice Road, a Netflix film, is one of the many Liam Neeson-led action movies that, in recent years, almost seem to just run together into an amorphous blob of terribility. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself on being one of the first to openly praise the excellent revenge-action film Taken, the first Neeson action film of this ilk, and I stand by it (and the second one isn’t all that bad either), but it’s been more than ten years since that film, and the mileage that has been made out of this type of movie has sputtered and come to a stop. These are paycheck movies, and The Ice Road, which started out promising, just became another throwaway. I hadn’t seen an action movie about Ice Road Truckers, and with Laurence Fishburne in tow, I felt like I was set up for something good, but then the film takes a slippery turn into absurdity with a weird betrayal heist subplot that takes over the entire movie and completely lost me. This was an all-around disappointment.
  1. Cry Macho
  • This is starting to feel like a Warner Bros hit job but let me explain. I didn’t go to the theater for the first 5 months of the year, and I don’t search out bad movies, but I didn’t want to miss out on theatrical-at-home with HBO Max. WB released some incredible movies last year, but they released some crap as well, and I couldn’t put off watching them or they would disappear from the service, so I watched them. I watched them all, and the one that was the toughest to get through (though not the worst one of all, as you’ll soon find) was Clint Eastwood’s newest film Cry Macho. This one appeared out of nowhere, with little fanfare and there’s a reason for that. It’s horrible. Eastwood had kind of sworn off Westerns after Unforgiven, a Western that deconstructed the aging cowboy archetype, and he should not have returned. This is a boring, slogging movie that doesn’t amount to anything worth conversing about. Eastwood’s Mike is a former rodeo star bringing his ex-boss’s son back from Mexico, and it felt like the worst parts of Eastwood’s recent fare mixed with a half-assed Rambo: Last Blood sequel, and none of it works. Normally, I can see what Eastwood is trying to do with his lesser movies, but I’m at a loss here. There’s a reason no one is talking about Cry Macho.
  1. Reminiscence
  • Reminiscence could’ve been great. It had an interesting concept, a unique plot device that could lead us to interesting narrative choices, and a nicely stacked cast of strong performers, but Reminiscence, the first feature from writer Lisa Joy, trips over itself throughout the entirety of the run time. This machine that uses memories could’ve been used to tell us a story through memories, but instead, we get a lackluster plot that became more groanworthy with every new reveal. I get that Hugh Jackman’s Nick Bannister is supposed to be a noir hero, but his voice-over didn’t add anything. I get that he’s an addict, but his addiction to Rebecca Ferguson’s Mae (an understandable addiction if there ever was one) goes nowhere interesting. There are a lot of Nolan-esque ideas at play here, but Joy doesn’t use them well, and the problems stem from an uneven and bland script, unfortunately. I got wasted-potential vibes similar to Transcendence here, but that film was more watchable in its convolutions.
  1. Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Here’s an IP all the kids were clamoring for. Sorry to say, Clifford just might not be viable right now. Add to that, a creative team that constructed a silly narrative based on getting just three things right: he’s a dog, he’s big, and he’s red. They got that right, too, but nothing else. The narrative places our villain as a guy who is looking to solve world hunger, so obviously he’s the bad guy, and we get saddled with an uninteresting niece/uncle relationship that’s without laughs and without heart in equal measure. To top it all off, the most boring element of the whole film is Clifford. He had no personality, no character, and I know it is weird to get all mad at a dog, but Clifford should feel like a character in his own movie. They had an opportunity to use that Dog’s Purpose/Dog’s Journey/Dog’s Way Home technique of dog inner-monologue quite nicely here, but they didn’t, and the movie ended up a dud. Stick to Martin Short’s Clifford, a true classic.
  1. Zola
  • There are quite a few people that feel very different than I on the subject of Zola. I’ve seen it on “Best Of” lists a few times this year from a few people I tend to be in agreement with. The nicest thing I can say is that it’s a little bonkers and definitely a unique vision for a director, but for me, very little actually worked in this movie. I really liked Colman Domingo and a few other smaller characters peppered throughout, but this movie bored me and, to be frank, annoyed the shit out of me at times as well. I can’t say much more than that, but if this director comes out with another film, I’ll give it a try. When it comes to the story of Zola, the tweet thread is much faster read and a whole lot better.
  1. Tom & Jerry
  • The last, and certainly the worst, of the WB travesties of 2021 on this list, Tom & Jerry was just another attempt at taking IP that kids are less familiar with today and throwing CGI versions of them into real life. I didn’t have a lot of expectations for this one, but with Chloe Grace Moretz as the lead human, I felt like maybe there was something unexpected at play here. Turns out, I was wrong. Tom & Jerry is just another one of these movies where the humans are given too much to do and none of it is entertaining while, at the same time, we have CG blobs causing generic havoc in a given location.
  1. Outside the Wire
  • All the other movies on this list are ones that I could sit through if my wife or family or friends wanted to watch. Outside the Wire, a Netflix movie you probably haven’t heard of, is one I can’t even recall anything good about. This was, if I remember correctly, the first 2021 film I saw last year, and I was bored to tears. I had to pause multiple times to get up and walk away because what I was subjected to was just plain boring. Nothing internally offensive here, just a boring movie that wastes a solid enough premise and an interesting cast on a movie that seems to have a checklist of cliches and plot contrivances, seemingly trying to accomplish them all in one sitting. I’m sorry to say that Outside the Wire is my least-favorite movie of the year.

So there you have it. These are my least-favorite movies of the year. Thank goodness that’s over. Now, let’s get onto better things.

What were you least favorite movies of 2021? Let me know down in the comments!

-Kyle A. Goethe

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

Director: Cathy Yan

Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, Ewan McGregor

Screenplay: Christina Hodson

109 mins. Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.

 

It feels like the DCEU has found its footing under the new leadership. After Justice League, the DCEU was handed off to others, and both Aquaman and Shazam! achieved generally positive reviews, so where does Birds of Prey land in all this? Did it continue that hot streak? Well, yes and no, but mostly no.

The Joker has dumped Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street, Peter Rabbit), and now the queen of mayhem is alone on the streets of Gotham and everyone wants her dead. It seems like all of Gotham has a vendetta against Quinn, including mob boss Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor, Moulin Rouge!, Doctor Sleep), who tasks her with stealing a diamond, but this is all an attempt to take her out. Harley is in over her head, and in order to stop Sionis, she needs help from others who have been wronged by him.

Cinematic universes have changed the way these stories are told. Relationships and characters evolve across multiple films, but this is a problem for Birds of Prey. It seemingly assumes that we, as audience members, understand the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn. Hell, the inciting incident of the film is the destruction of that relationship. The issue with that assumption is that we didn’t get a good look at the central relationship in Suicide Squad; there simply wasn’t enough time dedicated to the relationship or the Joker in general to make the breakup have any impact. Since Jared Leto doesn’t appear in Birds of Prey, we again get nothing to go on that made me really connect with what Harley is going through in the film.

Thankfully, Margot Robbie is excellent in the role of Quinn, and yet again, she is such a dynamic presence onscreen that makes up for the lack of empathy and stakes to her central character journey. This is great because, for a film that sold itself as being a Birds of Prey film with a tiny hint of Harley Quinn, this is really a Harley Quinn film with a dash of Birds of Prey. Given that so much screen time is dedicated to Quinn, it’s great to know that Robbie continues to captivate as the Maid of Mischief.

Even Margot Robbie’s tremendous work as Quinn cannot save a very muddled and convoluted plot. I think the idea was to make Birds of Prey into DC’s version of Deadpool, so the film is edited to give it a loose narrative structure that hops around, but it lost me several times. I was never confused, but it lost my interest every time it left the main narrative.

Birds of Prey was very fun, but it struggled to consistently maintain my interest throughout its run time. I enjoyed several chunks of the film, and overall I really enjoyed the film, but altogether, this film is an absolute mess. It’s saved by an engaging Robbie performance and the awesome turn from Ewan McGregor, and I still believe that the film is worth watching for fans of the Harley Quinn character and the DCEU, but it’s a bug jumbled mess of a movie.

 

3/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman, click here.

For my review of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, click here.

For my review of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, click here.

For my review of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, click here.

For my review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, click here.

For my review of David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, click here.

Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley Move to D&D Film

The directing duo of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley have moved from the Flash film over at DC to negotiations for the Paramount Dungeons & Dragons film, replacing director Chris McKay, who left the D&D film to work on Ghost Draft, starring Chris Pratt.

The script for D&D is currently being penned by Michael Gillio, but one can only assume that the directing pair will take a stab at a rewrite before they step behind the camera (they wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming and Horrible Bosses, among many other projects).

Little is still known about Paramount’s AllSpark Pictures, of which Dungeons & Dragons will be a part of, and people keep referring to the collective as a cinematic universe, but I think that is an incorrect categorization.

This does spark a little excitement in me, as I really enjoyed last year’s Game Night from this duo as well as their work on Spider-Man: Homecoming and some of their other projects. I do worry that the film’s tone might be questionably more campy than I would have thought, but that’s purely because I haven’t seen any work by Goldstein and Daley that skews to the serious. Sure, there are elements, but I think this D&D film needs to take itself more seriously and less comedic. That’s just me. It’s just what I want.

So what do you think? Is this the writing directing team for Dungeons & Dragons? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Vanessa Kirby to Play Catwoman?

So more news out of the rumor mill, and as this pertains directly to DC movie casting, slap a big Rumor sign on this one!

Vanessa Kirby, soon to be featured in the new Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, is reportedly being eyed to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Batman.

This is interesting news, but I know very little of Kirby’s work so there isn’t much to go on. Speaking to her look, I think she has a Michelle Pfeiffer-y look to her, so there’s that. I could believe her to look the part of Selina Kyle, but I just don’t have much to go on for acting chops, and that, more than any visual look, is what will make or break the role.

As I’ve said before, in Matt Reeves I trust, so I will let him make his movie and look more forward to Hobbs & Shaw to get a glimpse of Kirby’s acting level.

What do you think? Is Vanessa Kirby right for Selina Kyle/Catwoman? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Zack Snyder Reveals Image of Darkseid for Father’s Day

Fans online lamented over the past week that Justice League Part II would now be in theaters if the original plan for the DCEU had worked out, and it’s a true statement that hit me. I was really into the wild take on the DCEU’s initial plan, and it they didn’t have such snap reactions to their films, it may have worked, but Justice League Part II is off the table with no knowledge of when we may see another of the superhero team-ups.

This week, though, Man of Steel, BvS, and Justice League director Zack Snyder shared an image of the sequel’s lead villain, Darkseid, who was to take over from Steppenwolf in the follow-up. Initially, Darkseid was to show up in the cliffhanger ending to the first film, but if you saw it (and not many of you did), it did not play out that way.

Zack Snyder was likely let go from Justice League, another decision that didn’t help, and though fans have clamored for a Snyder Cut of the original Justice League, it probably doesn’t exist, but Snyder continues to incite interest in his vision. He has frequently shared info on his Vero account (I pretty much only have a Vero account of my own to see stuff from Snyder).

I was pretty adamant that WB and DC not put one director in charge of their entire universe in a Feige-like position, and while Snyder never had all the responsibilities of a Kevin Feige, he did direct 3 of the, at that time, 5 DC films and was going to do another one. After Man of Steel, he was handed BvS and Justice League I & II. That’s a lot of faith to place in a director who has a vision when people were still pretty split on Man of Steel.

Now, when they did put their faith in Snyder’s vision, I went in on it too, and then they changed their mind, and the franchise barely survived.

So what do you think? Would you have liked to see Snyder’s vision come to fruition? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Reign of the Supermen (2019)

Director: Sam Liu

Cast: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Cress Williams, Patrick Fabian, Cameron Monaghan, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson

Screenplay: James Krieg, Tim Sheridan

87 mins. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, DC is killing it with their animated universe. While their live-action work has struggled finding its footing (though I believe they have it now), their animated cinematic universe is chugging along quite well. They took their time in killing Superman, something that the live-action series did not do, and it paid off well for The Death of Superman, a really strong adaptation of the famous comic book arc. So what happens next?

Following the death of Superman (Jerry O’Connell, Stand By Me, Boy Band), the world has been in mourning for six months until four very different new heroes arrive on Earth, each one laying claim to the title of Superman. There’s Superboy (Cameron Monaghan, Amityville: The Awakening, TV’s Shameless), a young and arrogant teen with Superman’s abilities is seemingly backed by LexCorp and Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson, The Meg, TV’s The Office). There’s also a hero named Steel (Cress Williams, Never Been Kissed, Lowriders), a Cyborg Superman, and a protector called The Eradicator. Needless to say, these multiple possible iterations of Superman are not playing nicely, and it is up to Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn, X-Men, TV’s The Librarians) and the Justice League to make sense of it all.

Reign of the Supermen gets a little more convoluted than its predecessor. There’s a lot going on and I wish the film had more time to explore these different Supermen. It would make some of the more interesting developments all the more impactful. The story does get a little lost while building up its central plot.

The voice work again is spectacular in this film, with the exception of course being a woefully miscast Rainn Wilson. I like Wilson, but he does not exude the presence of Lex Luthor. Cameron Monaghan gives Superboy an injection of snobbiness that permeates the realism of a teenager with angst and superpowers.

The ending, though, is where the film’s impact is at its strongest, allowing all the buildup of two films to be resolved. It’s a well-edited, well-paced finale that makes up for some of the earlier plot problems. It doesn’t feel like a setup for future films but a culmination of much of what has come before.

Reign of the Supermen is an enjoyable superhero adventure is mostly successful in translating this popular Superman run into the feature film format. I would have liked more time given to the different Supermen, but overall, handing a larger portion of the screen time to Lois Lane has its benefits. If you liked The Death of Superman last year, you won’t be disappointed with this conclusion.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Jake Castorena and Sam Liu’s The Death of Superman, click here.

Infinity War Breaks More Records, Crosses Billion-Dollar Mark

Who didn’t see this one coming, right? Avengers: Infinity War has officially crossed the $1 Billion mark worldwide. It took 11 days for the film to get to the holy land of billions, proving that Marvel and Disney’s shifting of the release date was one of the smartest moves of the year. Domestically, the film is still outpaced by The Force Awakens, but internationally, this behemoth is moving fast.

One important takeaway here is that the film runs close to three hours with trailers and commercials. Looking at DC/Warner Bros. choosing to shorten their DCEU film Justice League to two hours to get more screenings in, it doesn’t seem to have been a problem for Marvel and their cinematic universe.

Another very important note here is that Marvel has “earned” this win with the careful handling of their cinematic universe, and having characters with arcs of up to ten years culminate with this event film is really gratifying for the studio.

I’m overjoyed, as I really loved Avengers: Infinity War despite its nitpicky flaws, and I’m happy the fans seem to love it too.

Have you seen Avengers: Infinity War yet? Of course you have. What did you think? Let me know/drop a comment down below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For more Almighty Goatman,

The Rock is Black Adam in New DC News!

Blackadam52

So, I really know very very little of the DC world outside of the biggies: Superman & Batman. So when it was announced that Dwayne “The Rock as in ‘Can You Smell What the Rock is Cooking’ Yeah That Rock” Johnson would be portraying Black Adam in an upcoming Shazam! film, I was thinking, “oh, okay then.”

But, apparently, this is somewhat big news. Sure. Black Adam (and I should point out that the title of this 1940’s character is in reference to his black costume, like Green Lantern, RedBlue Superman, or Boobs Wonder Woman, and not anything else; others on the internet were fairly uncertain) is a big name enemy or anti-hero in the Shazam! world. He originally appeared in the 40s but then was dispatched fairly quickly only to be resurrected some 30 years later and become a major force against Captain Marvel and eventually the entire DC Universe. I didn’t know this before today. So yeah, folks, The Rock is now a part of the DC Universe, which hinges pretty heavily on how awesome or God-awful the new Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie is.

What do you think? Is DC making the right moves here or are they exiling themselves before they even get moving?

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