Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 183: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and The Invitation (2016) and SPOILERS for 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Episode 183

Batman? Or Superman? In this super Episode 183 of Movie Podcast Weekly, we bring you Feature Reviews of the highly anticipated and even more divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Invitation and at your request, we have a SPOILER-filled review of 10 Cloverfield Lane. Oh, and at the very end of this episode (after the outro music), we reveal our plans for our next commentary, for Ep. 200’s agenda, and we start planning our 2016 meet-up! Join us!

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Geek Cast Ry — along with frequent guests. We give you our verdicts on at least one new movie release from the current year that’s currently playing in theaters, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— Ryan’s superhero origin story for Acid Man, the Toxic Avenger
— Andy’s superhero origin story for his Mutant Shoulder Fetus
— MPW listeners in Alaska
— Jeremy Renner filming “Wind River” right now in Utah (which is written and directed by the writer of “Sicario”)
— Factually questionable VHS rental story

[ 0:12:45 ] II. Mini Reviews
Andy: Room, Blade Runner, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Karl: The Hot Rock (1972); Elementary Season 4 Ep. 18 “Ready or Not”
Ryan: Black Sails Season 3, Daredevil Season 2
Jason: Batkid Begins

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
I Saw the Light
Born to Be Blue
They’re Watching


[ 0:35:40 ] IV. Feature Review: BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016)
Jason = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental: Free Redbox or Stream on Netflix Someday )
Karl = 6.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Ryan = 7 ( Theater / Rental )

[ 1:07:57 ] V. Feature Review: THE INVITATION (2016)
Jason = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )

Jason = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Andy = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Karl = 8.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Ryan = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
– Charlie St. Cloud (2010)

Thank you to:
Raymond Q. – Cujo and Planes commentaries
Eric E.
Lance S.
Patrick H.
Christian B.

– The death of Garry Shandling

[ 1:47:56 ] VIII. Post-Credits Material
— MPW chooses a commentary
— MPW chooses and agenda for Ep. 200
— MPW starts planning a 2016 meet-up

Episode 184 where we’ll be reviewing “I Saw the Light,” “Eye in the Sky,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” and “Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti.” Join us!


Contact MPW:
E-mail us:
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
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Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Ry’s BIO
Ry’s flagship show: Geek Cast Live Podcast
DONATE here to facilitate the creation of more Geek content!
Blog: Geek Cast Live
Web site: Geek
Twitter: @GeekCastRy

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

Listen to MPW:
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Josh’s links:
Hear Josh named as one of the Top 5 Up-and-Coming Directors on The Film Vault Podcast!
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Hear Josh on The SciFi Podcast
Hear Josh on Horror Movie Podcast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave himself for the use of his music for our theme song. Buy Dave’s Eaton’s music:

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Thanks for listening, and join us again next week for Movie Podcast Weekly.

62 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 183: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and The Invitation (2016) and SPOILERS for 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

  1. I respect spoiler culture. When I was a working critic, I was always careful to write reviews that wouldn’t give away (whatever it is). If there was ever a question of whether or not this or that bit from the movie constituted a spoiler, I would always err on the side of caution. I actually prided myself on being able to give an engaging description of a movie without spoiling plot points, character reveals, and so forth.

    For myself, on the other hand, I lean in Ry’s direction. I don’t go out of my way to seek out spoilers before seeing a movie, but I also don’t generally make much of an effort to avoid them. Also, since quitting at the Daily Herald, my viewing habits have changed dramatically. Two things happened: Right before I left the Herald in mid-2013, I essentially got handed a scholarship to the University of Phoenix. So I ended up starting a new job and an MBA program roughly simultaneously. My movie viewing really suffered for about 18 months, until I got the hang of the new job and the new schooling thing (which recently ended; earlier this year in mid-February, I finally finished it off).

    The other thing didn’t really happen so much as it was just a condition of being a) suddenly very busy, and b) married, with c) our third (and final) child having only recently arrived. For a while, “watching something” was about the only time that my wife and I could ever do anything together besides sleep in the same bed. She has a distinct preference for television over movies because committing to a single TV episode (especially when we’re streaming something, but even if there are commercials) is only about half the time commitment of a movie, and it was usually a choice between squeezing in an episode of something, or getting a slightly better night’s rest. Also, my wife generally doesn’t watch R-rated movies, so about a third of the movies I’d probably have seen while working at the Herald were suddenly entirely off the table.

    So for a while, for quite a few films, listening to the MPW crew review a movie was about as close to actually seeing it as I ever got. Actually, there are a ton of movies over many years that I haven’t actually seen, but feel as though I have because I read lots of reviews/articles and (more recently) listen to podcasts. On some level, this is probably what it’s like to be Andy. At any rate, I particularly enjoy MPW spoiler discussions, because I learn more about a film that way, and it’s often one that I’m probably never going to actually get around to seeing.

    My wife has already bowed out of having anything to do with “10 Cloverfield Lane.” She has never enjoyed movies that are essentially about drawing out tension and suspense to ridiculous extents, and she doesn’t like being teased, teased, teased, HOLY CRAP that was scary, repeat cycle. The trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane” was an instant turn-off. I almost never go to a theater and pay money unless I’m either with my wife or my children (or both). I don’t have a conveniently available friend with my same taste in movies (most of the guys I know are also dads and have similar time constraints), and even when there’s someone who might go for it, matching up schedules is often difficult. (I tried to get my neighbor to go see “The Witch” with me for about a month, and then it was out of theaters.) So if my wife isn’t having any, then I usually just don’t see (whatever it is). Let me be clear that I do not at all resent my wife for this. I’ve just kind of accepted, painful as it occasionally is, that our relationship is more important than movies.

    The point of all of this is that when I was running this morning, I thought, “Sweet, I’m probably never gonna see ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ anyway, so I’ll just listen to the fellas spoil the sh(meep!) out of it, and it will be like I actually saw it.” I ignored Jay’s warning. I ignored Andy’s warning. And then Ry stepped in as the guy who doesn’t give a sh(meep!) about spoilers and gave his warning. So I skipped ahead. (I didn’t have the podcast notes available, so I just guessed it would take about 25 minutes and came back in right as Andy was talking about dreaming of Zac Efron — nailed it.) And I finished my run listening to the Sci-Fi Podcast talk about family-friendly aliens.

    I don’t even know when I’m going to actually get a shot at “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Maybe it will be streamable on Netflix someday when I’m home alone on a weekend. But now, at least for the time being, for the first time in forever, there is actually CTS/MPW content available that I have not listened to. Well played, fellas. And also, if I never find out what happens in “10 Cloverfield Lane,” then it will all be Geek Cast Ry’s fault.

    • I can picture Dino crying a little (or a lot) while reading this. He’s got most hardcore anti spoiler guy I know. I wish I had that iron will to stay away from trailers, but if I’m being honest, I love trailers as much as I love movies.

      • I love trailers, too.

        I just watch them after I see the movie.

        And, yes, a tear was shed while reading that, but for many reasons… namely, your theater-going habits.

        Cody, if there’s a movie you want to see badly enough but a) can’t find someone else who wants to see it or b) can’t make schedules line up, then why not just go to the theater yourself? I do it all the time. And, as much as I love going to the movies with my wife and/or kids, I really enjoy going to the theater by myself.

        • Dino: In my particular case, there’s a weird blend of several factors that holds me back, by and large, from watching movies by myself. (And, before I go any further, I should be clear that I don’t mean to impugn or belittle anyone else’s choices about how they spend their time. There’s no right or wrong, here, just individual comfort levels and decisions.) When I used to see movies for work, it was work. When it was my job, then I didn’t think a whole lot about other considerations. “I am being paid to write about seeing this movie, ergo I must see this movie.”

          When it’s just a leisure activity, on the other hand, then any time I choose to see a movie that I can’t (for whatever reason) see with my wife and/or children, then I am choosing not to spend that time with them. Given that my first and strongest inclination is to include them in whatever free time I have away from work, I’m already somewhat inclined to not see movies that aren’t shared experiences. For example, I was disappointed by “The Force Awakens.” I’ve seen it twice with my 11-year-old daughter, however, and I enjoy watching it with her three or four times as much as I enjoy watching it on its own merits. (I’m not a hater; I largely enjoy “Negasonic Teenage Star Wars” for what it is. The bad stuff just gets my goat too much for full endorsement.)

          When I was the age that my daughter is now, one of my favorite things was to go to the theater and see a movie with Mom or Dad (and later with one or more of my brothers and/or friends). So as much as I love movies and enjoy watching them, I have a lot of conditioning to enjoy them more, particularly in theaters, with someone else. As noted above, earlier this year, I wanted to see “The Witch.” But I wanted to see it more with someone else (my neighbor is a history professor, which is partly why I was egging him on) than I wanted to see it on its own merits, if that makes sense.

          There is paternal guilt involved as well: I have a fairly strong impulse that I *should* spend whatever time I’m not at work with my wife and children, even at those moments when I would rather fly solo for a couple of hours. The kids (the other two are presently ages 4 and 6) are only going to be around for so long, and I want them to remember their father as more than the guy who was always at work and. So that has cut into my moviegoing generally, but also holds me back from going to the theater by myself. I feel duty-bound to share my time whenever possible. (Something, by the way, that I am far from perfect at accomplishing. I can be as selfish as the next person.)

          Also, as much as I love watching trailers, there are very few that I go back and watch after I’ve already seen the movie. For me, they aren’t enjoyable in the same way without the element of anticipation. There’s a delicate balance there, too: I love trailers, but I also get super annoyed if I feel like (as happens more and more often these days) the trailer crosses the line from being a well crafted preview to a carefully edited clip roll that shows 5 seconds from every scene in the movie in sequence.

        • “I love trailers, too.

          I just watch them after I see the movie.”

          So in your wacky Dino-world the movie itself is the lethargic, time-stretched preparation for the 90-second concertina adrenaline rush of it’s compressed and more abstract distillation?

    • I feel as if I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as everyone else. I really enjoyed the movie, but I have problems with it. Karl and I are on the same boat it seems. The last act of the movie was just a little too farfetched. And it’s not what happens that bothers me per de, I think it’s more of the way it was handled. A little more restraint and subtlety would have gone a long way in my opinion. The more I think about it though, the more I want to re-watch the movie to see if I feel the same way. As of now, it’s an 8.5/10.

  2. Karl Karl Karl, please tell me you’ve never watched the BBC’s Sherlock. Johnny Lee Miller is a good Sherlock, but as far as shows go, Elementary isn’t even close to Sherlock in quality. Sherlock has so much depth, wit, insight, and unexpectedly brilliant drama… and on top of that amazing acting. Elementary is fine, and occasionally great, but such a generic and predictable procedural in many ways. I will watch the episode you recommended, though… I dropped Elementary from my watch list last year, but I can still appreciate to watch a particularly good episode of it with your recommendation.

    Also, The Hot Rock sounds great, so I’m gonna look out for that one.

    • Also, “Sherlock” has Martin Freeman’s Watson. A little bit of Lucy Liu goes a long way with me, but Freeman is as much of a reason to watch “Sherlock” as Benedict Cumberbatch is.

      • Indeed. Freeman is great, and is really the anchor of that show. I like that they changed things up a bit with Lucy Liu as a female Watson, and there is a decent relationship explored there, but again, the relationship between Holmes and Watson in Sherlock has more real depth and growth to it.

    • Ha! Eric I’m in total agreement as far as the shows go AS A WHOLE the Benedict Sherlock show is better than elementary. But as far as ACTING goes – I think Miller’s interpretation and subtlety is better (just slightly) than Benedict’s. Elementary as a show is just another procedural – but Miller’s total envelopment of the character continues to fascinate and mesmerize me.

      • Karl, I can buy that. I personally would give Cumberbatch a slight edge, but that may be biased toward the material being better. Jonny Lee Miller is probably the only reason I continued watching Elementary as long as I did. He is terrific, and occasionally that show is equal to that.

    • Ha! Eric I am in total agreement that the Benedict Sherlock show AS A WHOLE is superior (by far) to Elementary. But as far as the ACTING goes I think Miller’s take is better. The writers of the BBC version have just made Sherlock too much of a dick to be likeable. Whereas Miller has incorporated elements (pun intended) of obnoxiousness but is still very much likeable. His ability at dry humor and the subtlety and nuances with which he envelopes his character continue to fascinate and mesmerize me.

      • Karl, I can buy that. I personally would give Cumberbatch a slight edge, but that may be biased toward the material being better. Jonny Lee Miller is probably the only reason I continued watching Elementary as long as I did. He is terrific, and occasionally that show is equal to that.

  3. Oh, and that reminds me that I heard an interview with Cumberbatch where he talked about a stage version of Frankenstein where he and Johnny Lee Miller traded off the roles of Doctor F. and the monster on different nights. I wanted to see if there’s a version of that online to see somewhere, so I’ll look for that and let you know if I find it.

  4. Apparently “Downfall” memes are a thing again. This “Hitler Reacts to Batman vs. Superman Reviews” is above average for the genre:

    I wasn’t super interested to begin with, although it’s nice to see Batfleck get a chance to finally, definitively move on from “Daredevil.” I like Henry Cavill’s Supes, too, but Jay and Karl convinced me to wait for Redbox. Apparently I’m feeling highly suggestible this week.

  5. Jay,

    I gotta ask why you are so bugged that the DC cinematic universe is different than the DC television universe. I mean, you aren’t a TV guy after all. I tire of TV shows and I am glad DC isn’t trying to build TV shows into their movie universe.

    CW’s “The Flash” is so tonally different than both “Man of Steel” and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It doesn’t work! And it would make ZERO story sense that the CW’s Barry Allen, Arrow, etc., have never referenced Superman, Batman, or the destruction of Metropolis throughout their season runs (as far as I know). C’mon, putting the TV and movie takes on these heroes in the same universe is a terrible idea and would be more of a cash grab than anything else. I know, I know, CW’s Barry Allen is a great character, but let’s keep him on the telly.

    And just so you know, Marvel’s tie-in TV series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” isn’t great. It is just okay to good. And the movie universe tie-ins are pretty weak in my opinion. You rarely (never?) see any A grade superheros from the films make an appearance (I think Samuel L. Jackson showed up for a brief, shoehorned cameo). After a while, I just had to disconnect the series from what is happening on the big screen.

    “Daredevil” is obviously a well-done series, but I don’t see any real reason to tie it in with the Marvel cinematic universe either. I’ve heard rumors that Daredevil will one day make an appearance in a future Marvel film, which may change my mind a bit, but generally, I think it is a good idea to keep the film-verse and the Telly-verse separate and distinct.

    And hey, that way, haters of BvS can get still enjoy their favorite DC characters in the cookie-cutter superhero formula with all their bright colors, quirky comedy, and one-liners.

    • I think it’s too late for DC to try and do things the Marvel way, but I wish they had. DC is absolutely killing it on tv land. With shows like The Flash and Arrow, they’ve got the television side of business on lock. When it comes to their movie universe though, I think they’re lacking. Whether you’re tired of the MCU or not, you can’t deny that their moves not only have been financially successful, but they have also proven popular with both critics and viewers alike. That’s commendable, especially when you look back at the history of comic book movies—it’s a lot longer and sadder than you’d think. DC on the other hand has been mostly miss, with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy easily being the best of the bunch, but grounded in a universe that would be hard to fit the rest of the more fantastical DC roster. Being an avid comic book reader and a fan of both Marvel and DC, it pains me that the latter has been fumbling so bad when they have properties that deserve great movies. Green Lantern broke my heart in ways that I can’t even describe and Man of Steel, although it had some great moments, it failed short in capturing the most iconic of all superheroes. Marvel not only has a clear vision of where they’re going, but they have a great understanding of their properties and have been able to translate them well (sometimes perfectly) into the big screen. It’s surprising to me that DC hasn’t been able to do this when they’ve been in the business for much longer. Now, I’m not saying that the Marvel way is the only way. I have faith that DC will eventually get its shit together and give us the movies we deserve, which is why it drives me nuts that the movies are completely ignoring the tv shows when the shows are actually far better than the movies. I’m not sure that this is where Jay was heading, but I think DC needs to take a hard look at what’s making the shows work and apply that same formula to their movies. And I’m not talking about shoehorning anything anywhere, just learn from what has worked and from what hasn’t instead of sticking to their guns with a formula that clearly doesn’t work. And look, dark works. Nolan proved it. But there’s dark and there’s dark and I think Snyder has gone a little too dark with these movies. They’re so grim that they’re devoid of any fun. Christopher Nolan understood this very delicate balance and that’s why his movies, as dark as they are, are just so damn fun to watch! I didn’t have any fun with Man of Steel or BVS. Those movies were so grim, I was depressed the whole time.

      I know this is just my opinion, but the bottom line is that DC can and should do much better. We shouldn’t conform with DC’s current cinematic output. I will not! If television can do it on a much smaller budget, why can’t movies do the same? Give me a Green Lantern movie that I can be proud of, damnit!

    • u want to know the reason why because if they had used the people from the dc tv shows would bring in a way more people to the movies ,because they will feel like all the hard work that the stars from arrow and the flash have done on the show . it will pay off those fans that been following them , and plus marvel has a clause that they can used to people from the tv and netflixs shows in their movies .

  6. BVS $ Breakdown:

    Budget: $250,000,000.00
    Prints & Advertising: $150,000,000.00

    Theatres keep approximately 50% of the take, hence the 800 million needed to break even.

  7. Jason,

    Why do you assume that Andy hates the cinema? :)

    I think that as far as superhero movies go, BvS might be up Andy’s alley. I mean, Batman kills bad guys pretty consistently, and I know Andy wants his superheros to have the stones enough to kill. And Andy gave “Man of Steel” a freaking 9/10!! C’mon Jay, this movie almost feels Anti-Avengers.

    This movie may be exactly what Andy wants in a superhero movie, minus the Doomsday stuff at the very end (which none of us liked). And oddly, the Doomsday stuff felt the most like a Marvel movie.

  8. Great job with commentary on BvS and 10 Cloverfield, guys. I really enjoyed it. Nothing more to add (that I haven’t already blathered about earlier), but just wanting to send a little appreciation your way.

  9. This was a great episode, fellas. Here are a few random collection of notes from my listen…

    – Jason, when you said 99.9% of people don’t consider Room to be horror, the first thing that came to mind is that’s roughly the same ratio of people who don’t consider No Escape to be horror. Sorry, brother… low-hanging fruit.

    – “Movies we haven’t seen but should have” is an idea for a podcast that Juan, David and I discussed in the comments for Ep. 180 >>

    – Definitely do a meetup at Cedar Point! That’s about 90 minutes away from me. Indiana would work, too. The advantage of Indiana would be that Ry could probably think of a good place for a meetup.

    – Ry, for the record, I’m a New York guy. Please don’t disrespect me again by associating me with Chicago in any way. I live in Cleveland, though. I know Gomez is a Chicago guy, poor chap. I’m sure there are several others, as well.

    – Fellas, I’m super-pumped (and honored) that you chose to go with “TWHMP on steroids” format for episode 200. That was a great format that fostered some really interesting (and, at times, intense) discussion, and I think it’ll work really well on MPW.

    • If I hadn’t seen Room already (three times now), I might have gotten an odd impression from Andy’s discussion that it is more of a thriller. There is that aspect, but a huge chunk of it is just poignant drama, and that’s the weightier part. I think he may have been coy about the spoiler aspect for what happens. But if anyone here still hasn’t seen it, it’s definitely not horror as Dino says, but also much more of a thoughtful, even inspirational drama than a thriller.

    • Ok, let’s trot out the obligatory pizza argument…..

      JK…I love all pizza. When I’m around it, any pizza, I want as much of it as I can get to shove into my pie-hole.

      And as far as cities go, I like ’em. I’ve never been to NYC, so I have nothing to say there. I know all the tired things I’m supposed to say, as a Chicagoan, but we’ve all heard that before. My thing is really just being able to be around a city to enjoy it, then get outta town when $12 beers start to drive me crazy.

      I’m a ‘burbs kid, so I can’t wrap my head around $4billion a month for 20 square feet of space…whatever city one’s in. And, really, we should all agree that Salt Lake City is where all the weirdos are. 😉

      Sorry if this combative enough for a faux-internet-beef. :-)

  10. We’ve already discussed 10 Cloverfield Lane in the comments for Ep. 181 (Jason’s original review), so I won’t retread what has already been said with one exception: about that ending…

    ##########Spoilers for 10 Cloverfield Lane##########

    The reason I like the ending, and why I think it was necessary to go crazy and show the alien threat, is that it made Michelle’s decision to go to Houston and fight against it more poignant. There isn’t as much weight behind her decision if she didn’t see the extent of the threat. It completes her character arc.

    More thoughts on that and the rest of the movie here >>

  11. ##########Spoilers for 10 Cloverfield Lane##########

    Also, there are several references to the original Cloverfield film that tie 10 Cloverfield Lane to the same universe. On my initial watch through, in addition to the satellite connection you guys mentioned on the show, I noticed a Slusho sign at the gas station where Michelle stops at the beginning of the film. Remember, Rob’s new job in Japan was VP of marketing for Slusho, which is part of the Tagruato company and has extensive connections with the Cloverfield monster (Tagruato is also the parent company to Bold Futura).

    This article goes into great detail on 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s ARG/viral campaign >>

    Definitely give ^that^ a read if you enjoyed the movie. It walks you through a pretty fun and interesting Easter egg hunt.

    There’s also a reference early in the movie to a blackout on the east coast. It happens as Michelle is driving late at night, just before Howard runs her off the road, we hear a voice on the radio saying something urgent about explosions and a power blackout on the east coast. That could mean the beginning of 10 Cloverfield Lane is happening concurrently with the events of Cloverfield in New York.

    I’m sure there are other references and connections, but this is just what I caught on that first viewing.

  12. So, I would call Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a slightly disappointing film, but I definitely do not think it’s as bad as people are making it out to be.

    The reason I say it’s disappointing is because DC/WB did a lot of things right. Something they’ve hit out of the park, in my opinion, are the characters. Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman are outstanding. I’m not as on board with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, but that has more to do with him not matching up with my image of Luthor as a big, imposing presence. Still, I think there’s potential there for him to be an interesting villain.

    Another thing they did right was the opening of the film. I loved how they tied it in directly with the final battle scene from Man of Steel, but showed it from Bruce Wayne’s perspective on the ground. That was a great way to setup Bruce Wayne’s fear and hatred toward Superman. Also, in general, I thought the fight sequences were handled much better than in Man of Steel – that was the weakest part of that movie for me, but here they were more grounded and interesting.

    Getting back to the characters, seeing Wonder Woman kick butt was a huge plus for the movie. I don’t necessarily agree with the sentiment on the show that she was shoehorned into the movie. I thought they seeded her into the story nicely, and I loved the mystery surrounding her character. Also, her theme music is perfect, and she was generally just awesome.

    Now, Batman – I loved everything about this version of Batman. As much as I love the Nolan trilogy (they’re easily my favorite superhero movies ever) and Christian Bale’s Batman, I agree that this might be the best version of Batman we’ve seen so far. He’s grizzled, experienced, vulnerable… and huge. He feels like a real Bruce Wayne/Batman. Again, in general, even though the DCEU movies haven’t been stellar so far, I think they’re getting the characters absolutely right. And I love that there’s diversity in their universe as opposed to Marvel’s bevy of white male superheroes.

    As far as Batman’s origin story, I didn’t have a problem with it at all. The film didn’t dwell on it – they simply showed the backstory, quickly, and that was it. We have to remember that this is our introduction to Batman in the DCEU, so they have to at least touch on it in this universe. After all, it’s the driving force behind Batman.

    My main issue with Batman v Superman, though, was that the movie never really came together for me; story wasn’t cohesive and never felt connected. I’m having a hard time pinpointing exactly why that is, but it was definitely the predominant feeling I was left with. I also had an issue with how quickly and easily Batman turns from fearing and wanting to destroy Superman to being his friend and wanting to save his mother. I totally bought into why there was the conflict, but the “resolution” (however temporary that may end up being, only time will tell) was a little flimsy to me.

    Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed the film. I’m giving it an 8/10 and definitely recommend seeing it in theaters (it’s the prototypical big screen movie). The disappointment to me is that DC and WB laid the foundation for a really awesome and compelling superhero movie, that just fell short because the story never really came together. However, this movie has gotten me super excited for the rest of the DCEU films. Hopefully they’ll prove to be darker, grittier, and more grounded than the MCU.

    • +1 to all this…and alot of what’s already been commented on this movie in this episode’s comments and in others.

      The things I would like to add are about the main characters.

      A re-iteration of what someone posted in an earlier episode’s comments, I think Juan, is that this Batman was based off a certain, dark Batman. I mean, I know Batman’s dark and has his issues, but some books’ versions Batman are darker than others. I loved this portrayal. At this point, Batman’s slightly on the downward portion of his arc, at least physically. In my opinion, a bit pissed off that after all the good he’s done, there’re still wackos out there. He’s bitter, and losing faith in the cause. I thought they showed that well, without harping on it too much. Then he’s compelled to get back into action with the appearance of a possible new threat to the world. Great. (I maybe could’ve done with a cooler training montage.)

      The other thing I liked was the maturity, or lack of a certain amount of it, in Supes. He has yet to really get a complete mastery over his powers, while concurrently controlling his emotions. It seems that so many people/critics expected the cool, calmness that Reeve, and possibly early TV versions of Superman, brought. Although he’s done his training and can fly now, he’s still a ‘young’ Superman. He’s going to rush to wherever in the world the new love of his life is and save her (which will probably never change, but the way he goes about this will, as he matures). He’s going to get goaded into a fight with Bats, instead of calmly controlling the situation enough to explain to Bats what’s really going on. He’s going to miss the thing he shouldn’t have in the courtroom. For me, the ultimate Superman is the Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman, but this Superman isn’t that. This movie showed it well.

      I’m still on the fence about Eisenberg’s Luthor. I’m trying to separate my ‘meh-ness’ about him as an actor, in general, from his take on Luthor, along with trying to forget some really awesome takes on the character in prior Superman things. I really wanted to hate it, going into this movie. I can say this, I didn’t hate it. I just don’t know if I loved it or not.

      I also agree with another comment, sorry, I’ve forgotten who, but I’m glad that DC’s kept some distance between what they are attempting with their big-budget motion pics and what they are doing with the small-screen items. I realize Arrow might get deep and dark at times, but it’s still closer to being in-league with the TV Flash than big-screen drunk, womanizing Batfleck. And Arrow and Flash are great….alotta fun. But I definitely don’t want them jacking up what could be good, dark movies.

      Overall, I give this a 7.5. I totally agree with Dino that this should be seen in a theater and I’m pumped for what else DC can put up.

      Oh yeah, Gadot was fine like wine and they didn’t take away from her BA-ness. Well done.

      • It’s nice to see some supporters of BvS. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but it certainly was good and at times great. 7/10 from me. Maybe a 7.5/10. I need to see it again.

        Some of the decisions were a bit jarring for me, but I’m not so tied to earlier versions of the characters that I can’t enjoy a new take. I actually enjoyed Eisenberg’s Lex. He unnerved me a bit and had some awesome lines of dialogue.

        I hear a lot of complaints about the story: It’s convoluted, lacking a strong narrative, boring, seemingly cobbled together, etc. I didn’t have a huge problem while in the theater, but I can see the point. It certainly wasn’t the strongest narrative. I wonder if the upcoming Ultimate Edition, which adds 30 extra minutes, will help?

        I doubt the extended cut fixes people’s problem with boredom. I certainly wasn’t bored. My hope is that the added scenes add some meat to the overall narrative and character motivations.

        Again, I gotta applaud DCU for not just trying to copy what Marvel has done. Instead of adding a 30 second Stinger following the credits of each DC film, maybe they will just release an extended edition on Blu Ray. That would be awesome!

        • Vance, you just made my day with that bit of news about an extended Ultimate Edition. I wonder if that will help with some of the issues I had with the story.

          And, while I was certainly never bored during the film, I definitely thought it was lacking a strong narrative. I think that’s a good way (albeit, broad) of verbalizing the issue I had with the story. I certainly didn’t feel the movie was too long – I actually wanted more, probably to better flesh out the story. Hopefully the extra 30-minutes cut will do that.

      • I really like what you said about Superman. I used to see him as a boring character, but I’ve really loved him in these last two films. I couldn’t materialize what about him I liked so much this time – I think you nailed it on the head, though. The story elements in Man of Steel really worked for me, and I really dug his struggle in Batman v Superman.

        The result, I would argue, is a much more interesting Superman than we’ve ever seen before.

        • I agree…it’s too easy to put up the S-Man with no flaws and the powers of a god. But put up one with emotional flaws and internal conflicts, now we’re talkin’. Over on GCL I posted my thoughts on Smallville, which, overall, I really dug (not sure what ep it was). Sure, it had some dips in awesomeness, but I enjoyed seeing him struggle with many things. Supes on the road to becoming All-Star is the interesting journey.

    • This is a pretty good defense of Batman v Superman I found on Josh Larsen’s website. It’s a response to Larsen’s review of the film, and brings up a lot of interesting points not yet mentioned here:

      * * * * *

      [the comments below are not mine; they are from a dude named Nick Bohl, and can be found here >>


      I had bought advance tickets for Batman v Superman and was mildly excited for it. Then I read your review and everyone else’s review and dread swept over me. But I already had the tickets and at worst it would be a night out with friends and we could laugh about it. But it wasn’t terrible at all. How could everyone else but me be so wrong? (I don’t know why this keeps surprising me, but it does). Was it a great film? No. Did it have problems? Yes, definitely. Does it deserve one star or deserve all of the critical pooping on that it received? No! Absolutely not. I can’t convince every Tom, Dick and Idiot on the Internet that this is a good movie, but maybe I can try and move your needle from detesting to at least recognize that the film has some merit — especially compared with other comic book movies that everyone, including you, seem to praise more.

      First, the imagery. You recognized this a bit in your review. The Bruce Wayne parents’ scene was the best of the 1,052 film versions we’ve seen. It was the shortest but most powerful of any of the movie renditions; it didn’t need the full narrative; just cuts of the violence interspersed with the funeral was very emotional. Generally, I thought the visual style was great throughout. I loved the scenes at the burnt down Wayne mansion. All that Bruce has tried to achieve and in the end, all he’s done is burn down his parents’ house. I loved the views of Metropolis across the water from Gotham. These two sides of the same coin — bright shiny Metropolis full of potential and hope looking across at dingy, depressed Gotham full of apathy and despair — reflecting our reality. I love how Batman was shot up close, so we are in the trenches with him as he fights. The action is visceral and real, especially compared to most Snyder films (or even the Nolan Batman). Superman was always a speck on the horizon, far removed and flying faster than our eyes can track. We could only hope that he lingered long enough to touch him. We don’t even see him rescuing the family on the roof, he just flies far above them in the sun —almost like it’s enough for that family to know that he is there.

      Second, the themes. This was where you had the most issue and the story is a bit of a mess. Your review was something about tomatoes and motivation. (And I don’t want to watch you eating tomatoes by the way.) If anything, I think the movie tried too hard to convince you why these two had to fight. And maybe the idea of Superman’s immediate motivation being to save his mother was cheesy, but set aside cynicism and accept that idea as a classic comic book story and consider it within the general themes of the film, and it works. So the film shows all of these ways that Lex is trying to manipulate these two men (and he obviously knows their secret identities, which is kinda cool and I appreciated it just being left unsaid) but look past all of that and consider the motivation for Batman. He is a broken, defeated man in many ways. Like you said he is tired. Purposefully shown that way. He’s been doing this for 20 years and has accomplished nothing. His guilt about his parents still overwhelms him as evidenced by the dream sequence at the grave. He has seen good men gone bad. Perhaps things are worse because of him than without him. For every criminal he takes down at least another pops up. They are more violent, more armed because of him. And for as long as he’s been doing this he is a curiosity, a myth, a topic for debate. But Superman. Here he is and there are statues for him, great monuments. There are no Batman statues. Superman is a god and is worshipped — for what? For destroying a city or for saving a city? The 9/11 type imagery of Bruce Wayne going into the dust was also a great visual. And the movie does what no other superhero movie does, it explores what happens after the epic fight and the people it affected. These two super powered beings level a city and kill thousands. This movie posits the consequences of these events. The movie had emotional impact and was more than just oh isn’t it neat to watch them fight. You said on Filmspotting that Superman is boring. I agree, he can be very boring because in conflict he can’t lose. Yet here he does lose. Didn’t you enjoy the fight a little bit? The action was manageable at least — not 10 heroes fighting 1,000 villains in CGI whack-a-mole. OK a few walls got broken, but they obviously weren’t up to code — I blame the city inspectors. But the idea of the consequences of Superman is not boring, it is interesting.

      These themes were not perfectly realized for sure. And the score was abysmal. I felt like it was a bad 50s score that was far too dramatic — compared with the lighter touch of the Dark Knight score. So there were a lot of problems with the execution. But I ask that you consider this: can you not give the movie a little quarter if only because it asks the audience to deal with compelling issues? Even if the theme of God versus man was too on the nose at least it was there. And maybe for a comic book movie on the nose is better than nothing at all or even better than too subtle.

      This is why I’m baffled. You gave Avengers 3 stars — meaning one star away from perfect. Avengers: Age of Ultron got 2 stars — so twice as good as Batman v Superman. This movie was at least as good as Avengers and had to be better than Avengers 2. I left the first Avengers and almost instantly forgot what happened and didn’t care. Do you remember the plot of Avengers? It’s a Brigadoon that only exists while we watch it. It has no gravity to its characters or to its plot to keep it in our minds. Absent Robert Downey Jr.’s charm and the colorful spectacle of these characters bonking heads, there isn’t much left. And Avengers 2 was far worse — far, far worse than Avengers — but you gave it a whole 1 more star than Batman v Superman! I contend that Batman v Superman was more visually interesting, more thoughtful and at least tried to do something great — even if it didn’t succeed — than at least Avengers 2. Every other big movie is a comic book movie. Do you want them to be more thoughtful and visually compelling or more colorful action without consequences?

  13. I dread the day Godzilla v King Kong is released cause it’s already my favorite movie of all time and I feel all the hate already…damn you weak and confusing plot!!!

  14. For everyone but Dino, there’s a shiny new teaser trailer for the next “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One” now on the interwebs:

    Now that’s badass. I give this teaser trailer 9 out of 10 scruffy-looking nerfherders and have already watched it eight or nine times.

    Looks like there IS another Death Star in this one, though. Darn “Star Wars” writers! Think up a new plot device already! :-)

    • Actually this is the original Deathstar…This story takes place between episode 3 and 4…Suprised there was no Darth Vader in the trailer…I suppose they are saving him for later…The tone looks to be very serious though more like a war movie…

      • Shannon: Curse my dry wit. I know it’s a prequel to “Star Wars.” Not quite sure what you mean with your reference to “Episode 3,” tho. Geo L. pulled the “Episode IV” thing in the crawl for “Star Wars” because he wanted it to have the flavor of a Golden Age Hollywood serial. He never actually made the supposed three episodes before that.

        Agree about the tone. Feels very reminiscent of something like “Where Eagles Dare” or “The Guns of Navarone.”

  15. went to see bvs a few weeks ago , to me the movie was very flawed , at this day and age with so many good comic book movies and tv shows in the last few years , this movie should have not been as much of a jumbled mess , i was looking forward to seeing the reason why supes and bats was going to fight , it was a big letdown to me . they gave me no reason for lex to hate superman at all , it seems like superman was just a throw away part of the movie , they made him look like a dummy . if u want a way better told bvs story put to media , you can go to netflix right now and pull up season 5 eps 1 and eps 2 of the batman from 2007 its called the batman/superman story , it does a better of setting up the justice league and the reason for them fighting in 45 mins then a 2hour 30 min movie .

  16. On J’s recommendation, I rented The Invitation from iTunes. J, I want my money back!! No, just kidding. It was pretty good. As thrillers go, it’s hard to compare it in the same light as 10 Cloverfield, which I think is much better. But it was a pretty interesting depiction of this group of friends dealing with some grief issues and getting kind of a “spiel” about a sort of cultish self-help thing. I think I’d have called it pretty ordinary and just okay, but then the very ending is really cool and kind of a woooow, as you realize there’s a different scale to what’s happening. That alone bumped this up to a 7 for me.

    Also saw Midnight Special yesterday and I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about it. One obvious issue is that it is sloooooow. J, you’ll have trouble appreciating it for that reason. The question is whether what you’re waiting for through the slow parts is worth it. Right now I’m yes/no on that. For some things, yes, but in general probably no. Interesting premise, and has some shades of things like Starman, Close Encounters and even Tomorrowland (in a good way), but doesn’t entertain or inspire in any significant way.

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