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Let’s Be Clear – Batman Is A Cheat And A Scallywag!



Batman v Superman

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]atman – let’s just make this as clear as possible – is a cheat and a scalawag and, well, too sleazy (and too smart) to go to battle with his colleague Superman without a little kryptonite in his pocket.

Batman v Superman

Without muscles like comic book Batman, Affleck’s Batman has to resort to some dirty tricks.

The idea here was to write a bit about who might have been the victor in the thunder-battle between the Caped Protector of Gotham and the Hero of Metropolis, as depicted in the newly-released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But that idea fell apart decisively when I saw the film.

In jest, this was supposed to be a sports column. But the movie doesn’t leave room for that, so I’m writing an editorial, instead.

The movie – for a brief aside here – is so confusing and convoluted that I even asked my movie-going escort what the two headliners were fighting about. I knew the answer, but it is indicative of director Zack Snyder‘s poor directing that I even had to check with someone about the motivation for the main event. My question was something like, “Are they really fighting about this?” And my escort nodded. OK, so be it.

Batman v Superman

Superman’s rage against the cheating Batman is apparent.

I figure in Las Vegas, the odds before the movie’s release were about 100-1 in Superman’s favor, but then the issue of second guessing Hollywood must be considered.

Hollywood never leaves the house without thinking up the most melodramatic plot line, which meant, of course, that nobody was going down in this Herculean punch-out in the opening round. That meant Batman would hold his own for a few rounds, which meant – if he could hold his own – that he could actually land the victorious haymaker and emerge victorious.

For all his fights, has Superman ever been knocked unconscious before – or even knocked off his feet? Well, we were going to find out.

But all this convoluted reasoning brought the odds down considerably. Just before the movies release, I figured the odds were about 25-1 in favor of the Man of Steel.

See, fights in Hollywood are rarely even until the end. Usually, the winner gets pounded to a pulp right up to the last moment, when the sneering loser turns his back on the bloody victor who won’t give up. At that point, the victor gets up for one more try – and somehow lands a staggering blow that opens the door to victory.

Superhero fights are different as both sides are invincible going in, but it is still hard for Hollywood to break with tradition. Every fight is a morality tale, whether it’s mortals, immortals or superheroes. Only wait just a minute here — it turns out that Snyder’s Batman, played by Ben Affleck, is certifiably bat crazy. So, all the bets might be canceled on that technicality, because that means anything can happen.

Ben Affleck Batman v Superman

This is not a bat you want to mess with.

Synder’s Batman does not shave. He wears a five o’clock shadow in every scene but one. He is scruffy, isolated and mentally unstable to the point that he brands the criminals he catches with a red-hot bat-shaped medallion after he ties them up. Snyder gets away with this by having Batman focus his vigilante efforts on sexual predators, which is Hollywood’s universal get-out-of-jail free card. With sexual predators, you can do anything you want and the audience will forgive you.

Still, it’s pretty clear that this Batman has been breathing in too much mildew. Affleck is puffy and slow and has no friends and even less wit to make him appealing (let alone lovable). In fact, he is so isolated that, in spite of his own delirious rampages, he decides that Superman is the one who has crossed the line from Vigilante Eagle Scout to Dangerous Showboat. So Batman figures it’s time to take Superman down.

But, what does he do? Well, Batty brings a spear to the fight that is forged out of the darkly glowing green mass of kryptonite that keeps most of the movie’s plot alive.

OK, now all bets are really off. Of course, there are a few punches thrown and a few buildings in the immediate background turn to rubble, accordingly. But John Wayne never threw acid in his opponents’ eyes. He stood his ground for love and glory. None of this spear-packed-with-kryptonite stuff.

Outside of the Bat Cave, we call this cheating, you sonar-challenged, upside down rodent.

So the sports column was canceled and this editorial ensued. In so many words: Very bush league, Bat-dude. Well, maybe next time.

[author title=”About The Author” image=””]Movie guy Anthony Hall is an enigma. He’s never been photographed and only works late at night after everyone has left the office. Hall’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Miami Herald (and more). [/author]


Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman




Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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Movie News

“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office



It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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Movie News

“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back



With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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