Tag Archives DC

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage

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Recently, the first look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker began circulating the internet. But now we can see him in the full get-up as filming is underway in NYC. A video of Phoenix at a subway station in Manhattan shows the Joker getting off the train with a mask on as onlookers flee. TMZ was one of the first sites to report on the video. The mask is creepy enough, but his makeup manages to make his Joker look pretty spot on. 

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker: Phoenix on Wanting the Role

According to Forbes, Joaquin Phoenix previously stated in an interview with comicbook.com.

Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains? And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done.’ So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said ‘I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen.

Is What We See the Joker’s Final Look for the Screen?

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The footage released is hopefully close to what Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be like. The film seems to be going for a more classic look, similar to Cesar Romero’s Joker in the 1966 Batman TV series, but way more unsettling. Appearance for the role is nearly as important as the portrayal of the iconic character. Film-goers will hope that Phoenix does the role justice, as most were blown away by the late Heath Ledger’s Joker performance. You can take a look for yourself in the subway video below.

Phoenix Doesn’t Want to Classify the Movie into a Genre

The Joker is a comic book character and part of the DC comics universe of superheroes and villains. The upcoming flick, set to come out in October of 2019, is a separate spin-off with the Joker as the main focal point. Phoenix, however, told comicbook.com that he “wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … it feels unique.”

Whether he believes it fits into a genre or not, Phoenix goes on to say that the characters in the superhero realm are “incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied.”

Take a look at the Joker train video from Hollywood Pipeline’s Official YouTube Channel

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Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage. Featured Photo Credit:  ©  INSTAGRAM @TODDPHILLIPS1

Captain Marvel is the First Marvel Comics Universe Film to be Scored by a Woman Composer

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Set for release in March 2019, Captain Marvel is the first Marvel comics universe film to be scored by a woman composer. The lucky lady, Pinar Toprak, recently wrapped up scoring the first season of the Syfy Network’s show “Krypton.” In addition, she composed some additional music for DC’s “Justice League,” which according to Variety, helped her land the job as the composer for “Captain Marvel.”  This is a triumph for female composers! Toprak is also the first woman in history to score the music for a major comic book film.  With Brie Larson starring as the female lead, “Captain Marvel” will be a feminine powerhouse of a film.   

Pinar Toprak is a Composer to Watch

Educated at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and Cal State Northridge, Toprak reigns from Istanbul, Turkey. A musically gifted lady, to say the least, Toprak has worked on video games, film, and television scores. She has also notably worked in Hans Zimmer’s studio as a programmer. Toprak is more than elated, expressing her gratitude on social media site Instagram: “It’s an incredible honor to be a part of the Marvel Universe. So many thoughts racing through my head. And the main one is gratitude. I have so many people to thank for helping me on this journey but first and foremost, my incredible agents Laura Engel and Richard Kraft for believing in me from day one and Dave Jordan and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.”

Click here to read the full story from Variety.

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Featured Image provided by Marvel Comics.

‘Justice League’ Review: All In, But Not All Together

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The rapid mishmash of action and surprising comedy in Justice League left me wondering about this new tone of the DC Extended Universe. Certain parts of the film, such as the plot and specific characters, even left me slightly saddened by the direction of the film. However, Justice League is still a great film that should be seen if you need to satisfy your inner comic book nerd.

The overall plot takes place months after the last installment Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice where Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) collect other superheroes such as Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Barry Allen/the Flash (Ezra Miller) to defend Earth from a sudden alien invasion led by the villainously determined Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic. The action sequences combined with the contrasting personalities and decisions of every character on the team made it feel as if I was reading through the pages of a Justice League comic. The team combinations connected amazingly making this team feel cohesive and effective. The use of CGI also complemented each character’s skillset nicely. In addition, composer Danny Elfman’s score made the film a true DC Comic film that many have been waiting for. Some sounds were especially noticeable to any fan of Elfman’s work on Batman: The Animated Series.

The definite standouts of the team were Ezra Miller’s portrayal of the scarlet speedster known as The Flash and Ray Fisher’s role as the brave, determined, and conflicted android called Cyborg. At first, Miller’s Barry Allen/the Flash feels a little similar to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming in the sense of humor and social awkwardness. However, as the film progresses, he reveals a more creatively eccentric and hesitant version of The Flash that has not been seen in Grant Gustin’s version of The Flash TV series. Miller’s perfectly-timed quips, funny action scenes, and unique running movements make him the significant comedic character to the team.

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic.

Ray Fisher’s Cyborg shows viewers how badly we needed this character in an actual DC film. Fisher is able to reveal the Cyborg’s constant internal emotional conflict of being a man and also a machine. Cyborg is extremely vital to the film’s overall plot and Fisher perfectly executes the struggles of immense power that Cyborg possesses and the struggles of maintaining his humanity.

Other characters, such as Momoa’s Aquaman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Affleck’s Batman were great lead contributions, just not fully fleshed out. Momoa’s role as Aquaman was a commendable take on the character that showcased the character’s challenge of living as both a human and an Atlantean while trying to figure which world he belongs to. However, Aquaman was not seen for a good amount of time in the film and plays more of a small ally in the overall plot. Fortunately, the time he does have on screen, he sells it showing off his Aquaman as an isolated, rockstar-ish type guy just trying to do what is right while simultaneously searching for his place in the world. Hopefully, we get to see more of a fully formed character with a great plot in his 2018 standalone film, Aquaman.

The two leaders of this league, Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Affleck’s Batman, were likable in this film, but it just felt weird seeing them have more of a comedic side when they originally portrayed such darker personalities in their BvS: Dawn of Justice. Gadot’s Wonder Woman was still heroic and inspiring as she was in her standalone film, but her personality seemed slightly different. For Affleck’s Batman, it was entertaining to see more of a lighter side in his character rather than his normal brooding self, but it just seemed that this film’s version of Batman was not fully thought out; it should have shown more of the mix of both humor and seriousness.

Three other parts of the film that were not fully fleshed out were the film’s villain, the overall plot, and the tone. Steppenwolf, the film’s main villain, appeared as a simple and stereotypical alien villain whose main objective was just to conquer Earth. It was obvious to see that Hinds’ portrayal of the character was done to his best effort, but it felt like there weren’t any reasons to relate to the character’s motives or feel that he was an overly dangerous threat to the team. He just appeared as a smaller secondary villain instead of a boss level villain.

The overall plot seemed rushed with every moment feeling sped through rather than gradually rising in tension. The climax of the plot did not feel largely dire or had much of an impact for the team. The plot felt like it suffered because of the film’s tone which possibly might be due to the mix of directors Zack Snyder’s and Joss Whedon’s directorial time on the film. The film did stray away from the universe’s commonly known darker tone, which seemed like a good decision, but in its entirety, the film’s lighter and comedic tone felt like it was trying to be a competitor for Marvel films. The tone was sometimes used well, but when it tried to mesh both lighter and dark elements together, it just did not seem to combine efficiently.

Justice League was a good film. The time it took with the action sequences, as well as certain characters, made it fun to watch, but what could have made it even better would be if they took the time to fully flesh out their main characters, overall plot, and the main tone. I am interested in the new tone that is being taken for DC’s Extended Universe, but I just hope it remains consistent. I give Justice League an overall grade of a B-.

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‘Justice League’ Review: All In But Not All Together: Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros.

‘Wonder Woman’ is a Superhero Film That Matters Today

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The right combination of action, drama, and romance with the addition of setting and strong, well-developed, and likeable characters makes Wonder Woman the first truly successful film in the DC Extended Universe. It also reflects a powerful female superhero with a solid moral core.

The film tells the story of the Amazonian warrior princess Diana (Gal Gadot) who yearns to defend the world after a pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), washes up on the shores of her home. He tells Diana and the all-female Amazonian civilization of the dangers of WWI. After hearing of these dangers, Diana follows Steve to the outside world in the belief that she can end the war by herself. However, she soon discovers there’s more to this war than just her own objective.  
This film succeeds in a multitude of areas, but one is the noticeable sense of commitment and effort from the cast. Gadot nails the persona of Wonder Woman because she not only exhibits Diana’s prowess in battle but also her clever perspectives of strategy. Gadot expertly highlights how Diana is a stranger to the customs and opinions of the outside world, especially when she disagrees with elite generals on the value of soldiers. Diana dives into this world first unaware of its complexities but gives valid solutions to some of the world’s still present issues of culture and gender. Additionally, she gradually begins to see these complexities of the world and understands how certain conflicts, especially war, cannot be solved so simply.
Steve Trevor plays a fantastic foil to Diana; he blends so perfectly with Diana that he proves to skeptics that this film fits both genders and is not a “chick-flick.” Steve is cognizant of the real world’s customs and issues as well as understands Diana’s frustrations. He values her opinions and cares about the dangers she faces while knowing that she can sometimes face her own battles. Both Diana and Steve’s well-melded relationship shows how this film not only a film involving action and drama but romance as well.

Other supporting characters such as House of Cards alumnus Robin Wright’s General Antiope and Connie Nielsen’s Queen Hippolyta play amazing authority figures to Diana and both reflect different sides of how Diana should take on certain inevitable conflicts in the plot. In addition, the film highlights characters of diverse backgrounds. One of Steve’s Algerian war buddies, Sameer, provides extra humor and heart into the film and also gives commentary to still current cultural issues.
In terms of plot, director Patty Jenkins knew how to take an old-time structured film and provide a well-developed and fast-paced plot that reveals the importance of how more female superhero films need to be created. Jenkins gave a detailed exposition to the character of Diana to both comic book lovers and newcomers alike and showed how the misery-filled impacts of WWI were a good opening for Wonder Woman to enter the outside world and for her to be surprised by the world’s wonder and horrors.
The only huge gripe I had with the film were its villains. It feels that both DC and Marvel are facing problems with creating complex and dynamic villains, such as General Ludendorff and Doctor Poison. This pair felt underdeveloped and never seemed to be an awful challenge for Wonder Woman. Another of the film’s surprising villains, while somewhat complex, did not have a well-deserved showdown.
Although the film was not capsized by the minimal significance of the villains, the special effects increased the quality of the beauty in each scene and showed off the skill and strength of Wonder Woman and her weapons.

The right combination of action, drama, and romance with the addition of setting and strong, well-developed, and likeable characters makes Wonder Woman the first truly successful film in the DC Extended Universe.

The sets were extremely detailed to the point where the film changed from an Ancient Greek drama to a war movie in the early 1900s. The film’s composer Rupert Gregson-Williams masterfully used the music to input a sense of epicness of the actions made by the film’s characters.
The costumes of the film were also utilized well. Costume designer Lindy Hemming provided the uniqueness and purpose of everything from Amazonian battle armor to early 1900s fashion and added more to the characters, especially for Wonder Woman with her battle suit and undercover clothing. The writers also formed a script that offered a balance of both quippy and serious dialogue and sincere moments of connections between characters.
Even with its lack of strong villains, Wonder Woman was able to provide a well-focused central female character with a complex male character that showed great juxtaposition. Other side characters, such as Hippolyta and Sameer, were detailed characters that were essential to the film’s plot. The combination of special effects, sets, costumes, music, and dialogue were fit together precisely to form a blockbuster film that was not only entertaining, but thought-provoking of today’s issues of gender, culture, and war. From these reasons, I give Wonder Woman an A- and recommend others to watch the DCEU’s first truly successful film.
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‘Wonder Woman’ is a Superhero Film That Matters Today: Featured image courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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Finally, the epic comic book movie our collective childhoods have been waiting for, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yes, the Batman, the Superman, going one-on-one before our very eyes.  I’ll try to touch on what the movie is about without spoiling anything: Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, is pissed that Superman’s brawl with General Zodd ruined the lives of, well, pretty much anyone who lived in the surrounding area (see the climactic events of Man of Steel).  Donning cape and cowl to become The Batman once again, Bruce decides it’s up to him to do something about Superman, while Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill, wrestles with the global criticism of his alter ego’s presence in a world, both terrified and awestruck at the realization that they’re no longer alone in the universe.

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How to explain this situation? He’s Batman. Just go with it.


First of all, Ben Affleck’s Batman is dope. I had my doubts initially, but Ben Affleck really nailed the whole brooding aspect of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and dare I say it, his Batman was actually scary.  I mean, he was incredibly INTENSE, and brooding aside, there’s even more!  He’s dispatching bad guys with a certain Steven Segal-like prejudice, karate-chopping necks and breaking arms left-and-right, branding criminals, and delivering badass dialogue throughout (this is surely a testament to Mark Millar’s interpretation of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns).  I’d have to say everything that was Batman — Batcave, Bat-Wing, Batmobile, Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons, a great casting choice), and Joker references — made it into this movie. With that said, I’m surprised this movie wasn’t titled Batman: Justice League Rising, because Ben Affleck’s Batman steals the show. He’s interesting, he has better scenes, and every time he’s on screen, he’s dynamic — whether he’s a man tortured by the death of his parents, a playboy billionaire, a detective, or even as an unhinged super-violent superhero. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, but the movie literally opens up with Bruce Wayne, and then a brief (and at this point, unnecessary) Batman origin story. This pseudo Man of Steel sequel doesn’t open up with Superman doing super things; no, it’s Bruce Wayne doing Bat-things.
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“Hail Hydra.”


There were plenty of action sequences towards the tail-end of the film, and needless to say, I’d have to pick Batman’s sequences as the standout (could you tell what I loved about this film?).  One amazing Bat-action sequence (Baction?) would have to be the warehouse scene that was briefly shown in one of the film’s many spoilery trailers.  The full sequence looks like something straight out of Batman: Arkham Asylum (video game), because here he is taking on multiple enemies at once while utilizing his Bat-arsenal. If the director of this movie, Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch), got something right, it was Batman’s movement in action.  Christopher Nolan, the legendary director of The Dark Knight Trilogy, made masterpieces of film, but (in my opinion) never delivered on any of Batman’s fight scenes. Snyder gets it right, and I’m all the more grateful for this.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was also surprisingly good. I did not see that coming, because I thought she didn’t fit the Amazonian build; however, she manages to pull it off. She doesn’t get enough screen time to explain her origin — she’s just a part of the movie’s plot — but it’s interesting to see her move about because her part plays out well.  Again, Bruce Wayne/Batman gets the interesting scenes by interacting with Gadot’s character, and later when she shows up in her Wonder Woman outfit, she steals the show.  This movie did a hell of a job introducing her character, even for a brief moment, but what I feel sells her presence is her theme song. I mean, seriously, the theme music for Wonder Woman is crazy! The music rattled me in my seat (a breath of fresh year, I should say); it’s different from the sound of Batman or Superman, and I felt as if her sound didn’t fit with the tone of the movie, BUT, when it plays, it PLAYS, and it demanded my attention. Matter of fact, this is her theme:

Doesn’t that make you want to ride a warhorse into the fiery depths of Tartarus while waving a flaming sword in the air? Or, I don’t know, lift weights? Anyway, it got my blood pumping, and — I won’t lie — I was, at that moment, ready to throw my money at the upcoming Wonder Woman solo movie.  Anyway…
Zack Snyder delivers outstanding visuals as usual, and makes another movie that appears to have been ripped directly from the pages of a comic book — or in this case, an episode from Justice League Unlimited (that’s an animated series).  There are short cameos of future Justice League members in this movie, and it’ll momentarily allow people who recognize them to geek out.  That could be a good thing and a bad thing; in this case, it really took away from BvS as a whole, yet still delivered as a treat for anyone still paying attention.  Which leads me to…
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Me trying to watch BvS…


A laundry list of things I didn’t like, and I wish I wasn’t aware of those things during my viewing, because I wanted to like this movie.  However, right off the bat (not THE Bat), BvS does the same thing Man of Steel did: pooping itself in the second half of the film.  There was a certain scene, a certain possible saving grace that could’ve been the turning point in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  A certain moment when there were hints of an interesting political thriller waiting to happen, but just as quickly as it was introduced, it was instantly removed and forgotten.  Instead, BvS tries too hard to be good.  BvS is like a classroom assignment, a powerpoint presentation that went too long, and failed to bring a message home; but even though it might’ve failed to deliver an informative and cohesive point, it still gets a ‘C’ for effort*.  That’s the thing, much of this movie does drag on, and I caught myself wondering when this was going to end.  I was waiting for it to be over, because it ultimately didn’t feel like a focused movie. I felt like I was just watching things happen in BvS. At one point, it felt like I was watching one scene after the other, and many times I caught it going off the rails because it kept trying to expand the world of Batman and Superman.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see all these other characters make cameos — that’s cool — but it takes away from the main plot.  The story is no longer fluid. It just doesn’t work.  Everything that’s stuffed into this movie felt forced.  So, as a FILM, this movie doesn’t work. Not one bit.
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“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…”


As for the rest of this laundry list of things I didn’t like, well, where do I begin?  First thing I noticed? Batman is killing the shit out of people in this movie, but Michael Keaton’s Batman (my favorite) killed people as well, so… it is what it is?  Doomsday, that big gray ninja turtle (pictured above) that was in the trailers, looks horribly rendered, and its fight scene with the proto-Justice League (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) was anti-climatic.
Let’s talk casting: I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, or Amy Adams’ Lois Lane.  The entire cast did their jobs, but the direction taken with some of the characters wasn’t my cup of tea.  Lex Luthor is apparently The Riddler in this movie, or some form of this jokester, because Eisenberg did not play him as the calm, collected, and composed genius villain that Luther is supposed to be.  Instead, this Lex Luthor is erratic, a man with a nervous ticks, and an inability to speak in front of an audience without falling apart (really?).
On the other hand, Lois Lane is kind of a tool in this movie. Now give me a second to explain myself, because there were attempts to depict her as a strong, go-get’em journalist, but from the get-go and up until the end, she appears to be more of a device to give Superman a weakness (other than Kryptonite). Ultimately, she appears to be a liability, a damsel in constant distress — I actually kind of felt bad for Superman, because he obviously had bigger issues to deal with (being depicted as both a god and an enemy). Which leads me to another problem here: wasn’t this supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel? It’s more of a spin-off that happens to have Superman somewhere in there. I felt bad for the guy. Like Lois Lane, he isn’t given much to work with. He’s flying around solving other people’s problems, but never given a considerable amount of character depth. It appears that this movie used Superman’s platform to deliver a considerably interesting take on Batman, a pitch for a Wonder Woman movie, and yes, a Justice League follow-up. Superman, the star of this film, is put on the back burner (there’s literally a scene where he just stands and says nothing).  I mean, look at his mug throughout the film.  He looks like he understands what’s happening, and doesn’t like what he sees.  There isn’t one moment here where Superman comes off as a winner, and it’s sad, because I had the same face after watching this movie.
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Look at him. Superman was once Beyonce, and now he’s Michelle Williams…


But hey, it’s Batman versus Superman, of course I’d recommend that you’d go watch it. It’s not a terrible film and it’s not a great film — it’s teetering somewhere in the middle ground, losing its footing several times as it laboriously makes its way towards an anti-climatic end. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie.  The kids are going to love it, and it does enough to kick off this year’s season of blockbuster events. Although, I was disappointed initially, I have to say that it could have been worse. I mean, it’s not like there’s going to be a longer version of this in the near future, right?
*God, I hope that analogy reaches you.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review photos courtesy of Warner Bros 

Five Superhero Films We Can’t Wait to See

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Almost 30 superhero films have been announced for release over the next five years, and this is my nerd dream come true. Between Marvel (my favorite) and DC (catching up), there isn’t a dearth of stories to tell on both the small screen (most of the shows that I adore) and the big. This year has seven superhero films set for release, with the first hitting theaters February 12. Here are five superhero films we can’t wait to see.

deadpool-is-the-first-of-seven-superhero-movies-out-this-year

20th Century Fox


Deadpool (February 12)
This is the R-rated superhero film I’ve been waiting for. Ryan Reynolds is redeeming himself after the awful Green Lantern by playing this foul-mouthed, violent, wickedly dark-humored mercenary hellbent on revenge. Reynolds played the same character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but we’ve never seen him like this before.
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Disney


Captain America: Civil War (May 6)
Be still, my broken heart. This movie pits my two favorite superheros (Captain America and Iron Man) against each other, and I can’t handle this pressure. And each has his own superhero team with more of my favorites, so I’m honestly broken. Also exciting? We’ll get our first look at Black Panther and the new Spider-Man (still wish it was Andrew Garfield) in the movie.
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20th Century Fox


X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
The X-Men are back for the third film in the prequel trilogy, and this time, the film includes (love of my life) Oscar Isaac as the extremely powerful first mutant, Apocalypse, come to, well, destroy the world. Bringing back favorite cast members like Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and James McAvoy reprising their roles, the film also introduces younger versions of mutants like Storm.
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Warner Bros.


Suicide Squad (August 5)
Villains as heroes—this is pretty much the premise of the Suicide Squad. The team consists of high-profile villains like the Joker, Harley Quinn, and Deadshot, and the story goes that these villains have been caught by the government and are being used to do their bidding. Micro-bomb implants prevent them from going off the rails, because they will be killed. I’m excited to see Jared Leto’s take on the Joker, as well as the rest of the brilliant cast.
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Marvel


Doctor Strange (November 4)
I didn’t know much about Doctor Strange before this movie was announced, but I’m excited to see this magical superhero come to life. With a cast that consists of Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, I have a feeling it’ll be great.
And here’s a shout out to the two that didn’t make the list, though I know I’ll be seeing them both anyway: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25) and Gambit (October 7).
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DC’s ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Premiere Recap and Review

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If you watch Arrow or The Flash, most of the characters from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will look familiar to you. Most recently, some of them were introduced in crossover episodes. I suppose that’s necessary when you have a team of eight people. And the formation of this eclectic group is how the season premiere of Legends begins. So here is the recap and review of the premiere.
Legends-of-Tomorrow-trailer
We’re first introduced to Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), a Time Lord Master trying to convince the Time Masters Council that he needs a team to help him stop Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Savage was introduced in the crossover episodes as the big bad that was sort of defeated, but apparently not so much. Hunter’s drive is the fact that by 2166, the immortal Savage has managed to take over the world to devastating results. He kills a mother and child right away for goodness sake!
Hunter heads off to collect this team by zapping them with some light? The team he wants to assemble consists of this hodgepodge of misfits:

  • Ray Palmer, a.k.a. The Atom (Brandon Routh) — Thought dead in Arrow, Ray is very much alive. He’s completing a mission for Oliver Queen when Hunter shows up.
  • Sara Lance, a.k.a. White Canary (Caity Lotz) — Another “dead” person from Arrow, Sara is brought back from the dead thanks to the Lazarus Pit. She’s in a bar fight with some man in Tibet when she’s zapped.
  • Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh), a.k.a. Firestorm — This duo, first introduced in The Flash, has gone through a few changes. Jax is new to this life, so Stein and Jax are trying to get a handle on each other’s personalities and skills when Hunter shows up.
  • Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renee) and Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel), a.k.a. Hawkgirl and Hawkman​ — They are the ones tied to Savage in that he has been after them for thousands of years. They are immortal by dying and resurrecting in different bodies every time. They were first introduced in The Flash. Kendra is still getting used to her powers and doesn’t remember her past lives yet.
  • Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell), a.k.a. Captain Cold and Heat Wave — These criminals were terrorizing the Flash with their dangerous weapons. But they aren’t all bad, even though Hunter catches them when they are committing a crime. Eh.

After Hunter gathers them all together, he explains that he needs their help to stop an immortal mad man from taking over the world. He says that their destiny makes them “legends” in the future, no matter what they think now. Hawkgirl and Hawkman are obviously confused because they thought Savage was dead, but no matter. Hunter gives them 36 hours to decide.
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Ray turns to Oliver (Stephen Amell) to discuss his options. He decides to go and make his life worth something, because after he was presumed dead, he didn’t feel like he left an impact. Sara talks with her sister Laurel, Arrow’s Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), about the choice. Laurel convinces her to do it and gives her the name White Canary (outfit included!). Hawkgirl and Hawkman decide to fight it out because Hawkgirl doesn’t really want to risk her life on a past she’s trying to figure out still. Guess who wins the fight? Heat Wave follows Captain Cold, so when Cold decides that they could commit crimes in the past, they’re both in. And last but not least, Stein and Jax can’t agree, so Doctor Stein does something seemingly out of character: he DRUGS Jax and basically kidnaps him.
Everyone shows up, and Hunter then shows them his time ship, the Waverider, and Gideon, the artificial intelligence that controls the ship and is Hunter’s right hand. If you watch The Flash, you already know her.
Hunter breaks down the main mission: Savage is nowhere to be found, so they have to travel to an expert in the subject, a man named Aldus Boardman, who has been studying Savage for years. The only thing is they have to travel to St. Roch, New Orleans, October 1975 where Boardman is alive and teaching.
The team is warned about some of the time travel side effects and the ship takes off, but not before two innocent bystanders spot it. Unfortunately for them, a robot soldier thing from the future zaps them to death for not being “integral to the timeline.” Looks like he works for the time masters, so why is he shooting at Hunter’s ship?
After landing, Hunter tells the group that they must split up. He doesn’t quite need the violent ones of the group (Sara, Cold, and Heat Wave), so he wants them to stay behind. As for Jax, he volunteers to stay back because he’s furious at Stein for drugging and kidnapping him. Understandably so.
The rest of the group follows Hunter to find Boardman. Apparently he is supposed to die the next day anyway.
The trio of Heat, Cold, and Sara leave Jax on the ship to go drink in the 1970s. But obviously this couldn’t just be a calm event; a bar fight breaks out after Sara goes after a sexist man.
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After meeting with Boardman some new facts are discovered, and he reiterates the past story shared on The Flash about how Hawkgirl and Hawkman are connected to Savage. But the biggest shock? Boardman is the son of a previous incarnation of Hawkgirl and Hawkman. They were killed when he was 10. He shares the information about where Savage is located, but as they prepare to leave, Stein senses that something is wrong back at the ship (thanks to his connection with Jax).
The soldier thing is named “Chronos,” and he has found them. He’s shooting at the ship and disabling their camouflage.
The group rushes back, along with Boardman, because his mom doesn’t want to leave him behind. Mother’s instincts. The trio that was out drinking returns in time to see the fighting happen (Cold makes a funny Boba Fett comment), and they all barely make it back inside because all of the weapons and suits are basically in the ship. Boardman is shot in the process.  
The ship needs repairs and Boardman is taken to the infirmary. Hunter puts them in “time limbo” so he can fix things, but the team, like me, wants to know why they were being shot at. Kendra and Sara punch him to make him tell the truth, and it turns out he lied to them.
The council didn’t want him to go back and change time, so he ventured out on his own to get this team together. He picked them because they weren’t “legends,” in fact, they pretty much left no impact on the world/timeline. Talk about a depressing realization. But Hunter so desperately wanted to change the time because remember that mother and son killed at the beginning? Yeah, that was his family, a family he wasn’t even supposed to have because the Time Masters don’t encourage it.  
This means the team members have a decision to make: to stay or not to stay?
Kendra goes to talk to her son, and he dies from his wounds after giving her an old ring that used to be hers. (Hunter explains that time has a way of getting what it wants. Since he was destined to die, he did, just in a different way.)
Jax agrees to stay with Stein after Stein apologizes, because he sees the team as something that can do good now, if they work together.
Ray is struggling to decide, because he joined to become a legend. Thanks to Sara, he manages to put his bruised ego aside for a moment and decide to try and save the world and change his fate.
The criminals of Heat Wave and Captain Cold just really don’t care. They can be bad anywhere and anytime, so they’re still in. Looks like the team isn’t going anywhere.
So now that the team is still together and the ship is fixed, Hunter charts the course for their next location, Norway, 1975. Scene flashes to Savage and we see him there. To be continued.
I see this show heading in the right direction, but with such a large cast, they are going to have to find a way to make everyone useful, but also not always use them all together. I think they need to develop these characters individually, which is hard when you focus on all of them all of the time. I’m intrigued.
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DC’s ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Premiere Recap and Review: Photographs courtesy of the CW

5 Superhero Films That Deserve A Following

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With Marvel and DC coming out with amazing hero based films, it’s sometimes hard to recall the superhero films that came before, especially films that didn’t have a major theater release. We at Cliché think it’s time to visit the little known or all but forgotten comic book films, and show that you don’t need to be the great Man of Steel, Iron Man, or a god in order to kick major butt. So here’s our list of the 5 Superhero Films That Deserve A Following, from oldest to newest, of superheroes that deserve some more recognition.

Darkman movie cover image

Darkman movie cover image

1) Darkman (1990) This film has a cult following, but no way near enough where it should be. The movie centered on a scientist who is severely deformed after an attack from mobsters; which stemmed from his girlfriend’s discovery of their corruptive actions. Two things make this film great: notable makeup work, and a tragic love story.  This story focuses on a man that not only loses face, along with his identity, but also shows how he copes with who he has become; all this before the credits roll.

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The Phantom movie poster (1996)

2) The Phantom (1996) Set in 1934, this feature was based on the comic series of the same name. Its hero was Kit (a.k.a The current Phantom), who comes from a long line of men that have trained, and focused their lives to stopping evil throughout the world. In their family line, the father passes down the mantel of the Phantom to his son upon his death, or retirement (usually by death, as was the case in the film). The movie has a strong supernatural story, nice romantic pace, and reflects the Phantom’s history very well.

In 2009, the Phantom was rebooted into a two-part miniseries, set in the present day. The miniseries does a good job at introducing the history of the Phantom as well and would have made for a good TV series.  The Phantom has a mix feeling of Batman, Zorro, and a strong sense of honor/duty to it. It’s sad that he doesn’t have more of a mainstream following.

 

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Spawn movie poster (1997)

3) Spawn (1997) Spawn is the story about a man sent to hell and brought back to life by the devil.  The main character returns with super powers in order to take revenge on those that took part in his death. The film was loosely based on the comic series of the same name. Because the main character is sent to hell, you know off the back that he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. It featured a decent story line, cool costumes, an evil demon clown, and some well deserved payback. It makes for a fun evening.

*Sidenote: There have been long talks of a potential sequel, and last year there were talks to begin filming in 2014. It’s stated that the movie will have less supernatural elements, which is interesting because it’s a character from Hell.

 

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Blade (1998) movie poster

4) Blade Series (1998, 2002, & 2004) Blade was the story of a half vampire, half human that spent his days, and nights, hunting down vampires and other evil creatures (though it is mostly vampires). While the Blade films did well, and he has become a household name, he has been thrown into the back burner in the pop-cultural vampire world. With vampires being shown as cuddly beings of the dark (think Twilight), Blade reminded us that, for the most part, vampires are evil serial killers that needed to be put down. The series is soft horror, action packed, and normally well written (the last one not so much). Even the failed Blade TV series makes for a good watch as you get to see the strong political double standards of the vampire world while still showing that vampires are not the kind of people you want to snuggle up to.

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Cover Image of the animated DC Film Green Lantern: First Flight


5) Green Lantern: First Flight (2009) This animated feature tells the story of how Hal Jordan became a Green Lantern. This movie is a great way to learn about the Green Lantern Corp. along with showing the best faces from the group. Unlike the live-action feature, starring Ryan Reynolds, Hal is more like his comic book counterpart. It has  a strong focus on the power, honor, and duties of the Green Lantern Corp. For anyone that wants to learn what it means to be a Green Lantern, or why there is a strong comic following, this feature and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights are two great films to watch.

Age Of The Geeks

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Still of Evans Peter as Quicksilver in Days Of Future Past.

Still of Evans Peter as Quicksilver in Days Of Future Past, along with Huge Jackman, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender

With QuickSilver making his first proper silver screen debut (he, arguably, made a cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), it seems that the Age of Geeks has finally begun. We are living in an age where the once impossible is happening before our eyes. As a life-long geek, I never thought I’d live to see the day where The Guardians of the Galaxy, or Ant-Man would get their own feature film. Finally, we can watch a super-hero film that isn’t about Batman, Superman, or Wolverine (and his pining of Jean Grey).  This is not to say that those heros aren’t awesome in their own rights or that I think poorly of the Batman Vs Superman film, which has started filming, or that I’m not excited to hear that Hugh Jackman wants to continue to play Logan. It has more to do with the fact that with a host of amazing characters in comic book history, and in other media, it is great to see fan favorites finally appearing on both the big and small screen.

 

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Still of Batman and his son, Damian Wayne, from DC’s Son Of Batman animated feature.

Villains like Apocalypse and Thanos, can finally give Magneto, and viewers, a break from the same worn out storylines.  Plus, DC is taking great pains in adding to their lineup of live-action heros, to the extent that they’re even trying to bring Aquaman to the big screen; Aquaman, who’s been a strong force in comics, but hasn’t translated well on screen. This means that the new Flash tv series, the renewal of Arrow, and Damian Wayne appearing outside of comics, in the animated feature Son Of Batman, is only the start of DC’s long awaited counterattack against Marvel’s super successful films. As all-out war breaks out between those two comic book rivals, fans around the world are sure to benefit in the near future. With new Marvel show’s like Agent Carter (also: Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones) and a Justice League (also: a possible Green Lantern sequel)  movie in development, the added news that Star Wars VII started filming is like icing on the cake! With old fan favorites returning and new faces appearing in the coming installments, what fan wouldn’t be overjoyed? On a side note, let’s not forget that an Avatar sequel is within sight now that the script has been completed. Also, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out later this year.  If it does well at the box office, it may be a new start for the live-action movie franchise.

As new stills and information leak, geeks have more than enough to look forward to and discuss (with joy or rage) this year, and also for the next decade (Marvel Studios has planned up to 2028). One thing is clear: the days of hopelessly wishing for characters like Deadpool to get their own movies, or miniseries, seems to be drawing to an end. Hell, Squirrel Girl could even get her own movie. The age of the geeks has begun.
Still of Son Of Batman courtesy of comicbookresources.com. The still from Days Of Future Past taken from unleashthefanboy.com