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Super Angry Dude VERSUS Angsty Bat Guy

To be fully transparent, I must say that I had no intention of seeing BvS in theaters from the moment the first trailer was released. Having been a person that really disliked Man of Steel I knew that it would have similar sensibilities and all the footage that was released, made the film look terrible. Cut to the film's release, and it gets completely panned by critics, furthering my belief that there's no real reason to see the film in theaters, since my suspicions were confirmed true.

I was then given the option to see it in theaters for free due to a movie ticket included in my Blurays of Arrow and The Flash. Even with the free ticket, the film didn't draw me to the theater and they eventually expired. That's how little my interest was in this film despite it being a team-up of two of the biggest characters in all of comic-book-dom.

I also need to get this out of the way because I'm worried that any positive comments I make towards the film may be misconstrued: This is not a good movie. While it's not the colossal failure that many, myself included, expected it to be, it's still a mess of a film. When your third act, featuring the biggest fight of the movie, is the slowest and most boring part, then you know the film has problems on top of problems but it also shows that there was some good in the beginning.

Most of the good comes from Ben Affleck's Batman. While the competition is stiff, Affleck may be the best Batman we've ever been treated to on film. Sure, Kevin Conroy's Dark Knight from both the animated series and the Arkham series is probably the greatest overall, the fact that Affleck can come in and give all previous actors a run for their money is saying a lot. He was easily the best part of this film and is something that I really look forward to when it comes to the new film.

Not everything involving Batman is great though. His interactions with Superman are boring and uninspired, with most of his best scenes coming from interactions with criminals or Alfred. And that opening scene, going over the Wayne family death that we all know by heart, is one of the more melodramatic pieces I've ever seen. At times it felt like a music video for some kind of emo band. Add to that the Jeep Wrangler commercial that occurs a few minutes later, and you get a beginning that is one of the harder ones to get through in all of Superhero-dom.

The Justice League stuff feels so thrown together that it feels like an insult to fans. Which is too bad, because they could have easily made the transition with the same Bruce Wayne arc only without the random footage of JL members in different environments. All that did was remind me that Warner Bros. didn't jump on the JL bandwagon when they should have and are now having to fast track everything to try and catch up with Marvel.

I honestly thought that Jessie Eisenberg was going to knock the role of Lex Luthor out of the park. I figured that Snyder cast him for his "Mark Zuckerberg" performance but that isn't the case at all. No, instead Eisenberg gives what is easily the worst performance of the movie and possibly his career. I still don't understand why they decided to make him so zany and not just a disconnected genius a la The Social Network. He chews up the scenery in every single scene he's in and never once tries to reign it in. One of the final shots rests on Luthor in his cell and it's one of the most unintentionally comedic moments I've ever witnessed.

So yes, it's as bad as you could have ever thought it was but it also had some really cool stuff. Sure, the plot is nonsense and Snyder is just throwing way too much at the screen (we get World's Finest, Death of Superman, and Superman Lives all in one story) but we also get Ben Affleck as Batman which may honestly be worth all the other trouble with this movie. While the Superman side of things is still a mess, Batman's future is certainly looking bright.

Let's just hope they don't V each other again anytime soon.

Random Memories of Crystal Lake

Check out fridaythe13thfranchise.com for some truly awesome F13 content!
Originally today's post was going to cover Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but then I realized what day it was and pushed that to next week. There was just no way I could publish something on Friday the 13th and not talk about the ultimate franchise with its namesake. I'm also in the middle of putting the final touches on my book so the idea of putting something together that took any sort of forethought didn't seem very appealing to me. So I came up with a way to talk about my love for the series while also not putting any limitations on what to write about.

Here are my random thoughts about the Friday the 13th franchise.
  • Jason X gets far too much hate. There is absolutely no way that I could see myself saying this several years ago but it's become a favorite of mine in that it's just so much fun. Sure, it doesn't take advantage of one of F13's greatest assets, the camp, but it's still an entertaining time at the movies.
  • I've been falling out of love with Freddy vs. Jason more and more every time I watch it. My younger self really enjoyed the roller coaster ride it takes you on but my older self just sees a big departure from the tones of either series. Rather than a blend of the two, it's simply an action/horror film with the two villains included. It's getting to the point where I may start to forgo it next go-around.
  • I honestly believe that Part 3 is the clear-cut best of the franchise. Every time I watch it, I just see a unique move that stands out from everything else in the series. There's an odd lightness to the proceedings that contrast well with some of the darker tones that it's sandwiched between (I'd say 4 is definitely the darkest of the series).
  • Jason Takes Manhattan is another one that has grown on me. I used to absolutely despise this movie. I hated just about everything about it and couldn't understand why anyone would find it entertaining. There were many times I'd just skip it when I was going through rewatches of the series
  • I consider the 2009 "remake" to be just another sequel in the series and I don't understand how others could possibly disagree. It follows along with the continuity of the series (as well as one can in the F13 world) and provides an vicious version of Jason. What else can we as fans really ask for? I remember loving every minute of it in the theater yet it's been almost seven years since we've seen anything like it get a theatrical release. C'mon man!
  • Jason Lives is still probably the F13 movie that I watch the most. Anytime that I think "I could really go for some Jason Voorhees shenanigans" it's the first film that comes to mind. Even though it's a parody, it still hits all the right notes.
  • I'm sure I'm in the minority but I think the original may be my least favorite not named Jason Goes To Hell. Don't get me wrong, I still get a kick out of the film, I just find it much more by-the-numbers and bland. It hadn't really found its identity yet and really plods along, just trying to get across the finish line more than anything. It could just be my resentment towards Cunningham and his treatment of the franchise, but I find it a chore to sit through. There are immediate improvements from Part 2 on and I think what F13 became was more of an accident than anything.
  • A New Beginning makes for one helluva party movie. It's got the most kills in the series, and really makes no excuse for its sleaziness. It's everything you would come to expect from a F13 movie while also being so totally crazy and different that some fans hate it. I see it as harmless sleazy fun that needs to catch a break for having faux Jason. It's really not that bad. So the next time you have a Halloween party that just needs some horror visuals to put on display, I can't recommend this one enough.

"Captain America: Civil War"

This is a review/analysis of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War." I apologize in advance but this will be absolutely filled with spoilers so make sure to avoid until after you see the film.

Now that we have that out of the way: WOW! While I can't say that I left the theater going "Holy shit, that was the best Marvel movie ever!" it was certainly a very good experience and provided a film that I'm really looking forward to seeing again. After "Age of Ultron" it was easy to see that Marvel may have some problems providing a satisfying story when over a dozen superheroes are involved but thankfully the Russo's have figured out the formula.

While I won't praise the film's pace (there are far too many talking bits that feel like rehashed information, or something being spoonfed to the audience) I still find it amazing that a film like this could be made while still very clearly being a Captain America movie. Not once do things feel lost in the shuffle, with the focus going anywhere but the main conflict going on. Even the little side tangents have an important part in the overall story.

One character I was particularly impressed with was Black Panther. This is a character that not many people know about, yet they were able to introduce him, give him purpose, and set up his solo film without feeling intrusive or an organic part of this film. The audience seemed to fall in love with him and I can easily see him being one of the big talking points of this movie. But we all know the person that stole the show...

Let's get to the main event: Spider-man.

While I really enjoy the Civil War storyline from the comics, I really disliked the angle of "Unveil your secret identity or get thrown in jail" because of what it did to my main man Spidey. If you know anything about me, you know that I have been obsessed with Spider-man since a very small age. I had an encyclopedia-level knowledge on the wall crawler, along with his very large Rogues Gallery. I had such an anticipation for the Sam Raimi film that I had difficulty sleeping for weeks leading up to its release (this is after I already spent years anticipating it due to my fanatic film news knowledge at the time). So to say that Spider-man is a big deal to me a bit of an understatement.

In fact, Spider-man was the main reason I was so excited about "Civil War" in the first place. Sure, it was going to be cool to essentially see Avengers 2.5 but seeing those characters didn't really matter to me. I just wanted to see Spider-man. And boy did he ever deliver. While I was a little disappointed that the character is CGI about 95% of the time (the only real suit we see is during a shot of Holland maskless, otherwise it's very clearly a CGI suit), the suit itself looks absolutely great. I love that this is the first "official" suit for him, and his way of obtaining it provides for suit upgrades with every movie from here on out. Costume-wise, we could be set up for one of the greatest runs in all of Marvel film (Sorry Iron Man, you had a good run).

But what makes Spider-man if not for the main behind the suit, Tom Holland. This man completely embodies the role of Peter Parker and provides that exact energy that has been needed in the Spidey role. Garfield's Spider-man was fantastic, with zingers and flowy movement, but his Peter Parker left a lot to be desired, and vice-versa for Tobey Maguire. This is really the first time where we finally have a complete package.

Oddly enough, I feel like I'm going to enjoy "Civil War" even more once I see the massive disaster known as "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" because I'll really be able to appreciate how to handle setting up character's for future films without compromising the current story (a lesson Snyder apparently never learned). While I wasn't completely blown away, I really love the story crafted and the great character moments are what make this near the front of the pack in an already impressive Marvel catalog.

Bring on Doctor Strange!

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