MOVIE REVIEW: Justice League (2017)

Despite faring as one of the weaker superhero films of the year, Zack Snyder’s Justice League proves to be one of the better films of the DC franchise after the ill-stricken Suicide Squad (Ayer, 2016) and underwhelming Batman v Superman (Snyder, 2016).

Shortly after the death of Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill), Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) establishes a group of superheroes in a post-doomsday era to help save the world — Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen/Flash (Ezra Miller), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) then join the force after a series of negotiations deemed not only favorable to their individual purposes, but also for the entire human race.

In a cast-driven film powered by strong and witty performances by the actors, Justice League proves to be a union of a very talented cast that embodies the definition of their own heroes. The film is on fire whenever the entire group is together on screen. The energy is unstoppable, and their chemistry is electric. However, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that the film suffers from a lineup of thinly developed characters. It is one thing to have a talented actor, and it is another to have a half-baked character.

During the last years, we have been introduced to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in their own standalone films, helping us become engaged to their own worlds right before they are united as Justice League. Therefore, how we grasp them in a big group is already established in a familiar rapport as we have known them for years. However, that is not the case for Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Other than their brief cameos with other DC films here and there, we have never really been given the chance to actually know and connect with them pre-Justice League, and we still aren’t able to know and connect with them now the film is released. How unfamiliar their worlds are and how big of a responsibility they have been given to join the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman is so daunting, the scale oftentimes falls off balance. This is a very similar case to Suicide Squad where a group of mostly B-listed, relatively unknown characters are congested in a 2-hour film, introduced in a hyper-realist resume-type montage that says nothing other than the obvious.

Other than their one dimensional profiles that catalogued their powers, strengths and occasional witty one-liners due to the film’s haphazard screenplay, there is nothing more to get from Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg other than the what we already know. However, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller lifted those casualties in fun, biting and memorable performances proving that they are worthy of these superhero titles in a DC universe.

The biggest problem that the film has is its production design. Having over $300 million in budget, what transpired on screen is an over-reliance on second-rate CGI that didn’t look expensive at all. It’s so raw and campy, you could almost see the green backdrop and imagine them in harnesses in their own studios. The flood of cheap-looking visual effects is so distracting, it drags the film’s overall appeal down.

Personally, I don’t mind if the film is dark. DC’s darkness route has never been an issue with me since Batman v Superman (as that particular somber tone has worked well with the two Dark Knight films). What matters most is the consistency of the tone, and how rock solid its narrative is. BvS failed to do that; Wonder Woman nailed that; Suicide Squad, I can’t even talk about; and Justice League somehow managed to assert which direction it intends to go, but ultimately is not enough. Truth be told, Zack Snyder needs to go. The DC films need a new director.

Overall, Justice League isn’t all that bad. But it isn’t all that great, either. It could have been a lot more than what it is.


3 out of 5 stars


WATCH: New ‘Justice League’ featurette explains Batman’s evolution

Fearless protector. Guardian of Gotham City. Find out more about Batman in the new Justice League featurette titled “Bruce Wayne aka Batman” which has just been released by Warner Bros.

Check out the featurette below and watch Justice League in Philippine cinemas November 16, 2017.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League features Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa).

Justice League is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

MOVIE REVIEW: The LEGO Batman Movie

Coming from someone who is not a fan of any superhero character, I could immediately give my thumbs-up to The LEGO Batman Movie for making me more curious about the world of the Caped Crusader (whose only movie I’ve seen is Batman v. Superman plus some cartoons). It’s quite nostalgic to watch this spin-off with The LEGO Movie in mind—the entirety of which I enjoyed thoroughly back in 2014. I can’t think of any other animated movie filled with such spellbound fun that leaves an enjoyable aftertaste even after some time. It might have been terrible for me to look for one adorable song from The LEGO Batman to equal the first movie’s Everything is Awesome but everything else just works sufficiently to keep me entertained.

The story is more laugh-inducing with Batman’s indifference towards his ‘greatest enemy’—The Joker. It builds up tension between the archenemies and provides a good picture of both character’s soft spots. Will Arnett’s Batman may seem serious but his character develops for the better. On the other hand, Zach Galifianakis’ Joker is simply hilarious however much he tries to look evil or plot against Gotham City. When the Joker asks Batman if he seriously feels nothing special about their relationship, the latter just cracks with a soon-to-be-classic quote, “Batman doesn’t do ships. As in relationships… You mean nothing to me. No one does.” When these lines are followed by a closeup of Joker’s flabbergasted reaction, it’s a tough feat not to laugh out loud seeing how Batman’s words have shattered the Joker’s feelings.

Batman’s character in this film is as lonely as it could get. It is painful to watch how this is stressed with everyone else partying and celebrating without minding the hero of their city. He lives in a mansion with Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) as his butler and Apple’s Siri as his sentient supercomputer—a bountiful living, indeed—but he is a sad, lonely man. Things change when he meets the playful Dick Grayson (Michael Sera) who would become his adoptive son and sidekick, Robin. Not to mention, the entrance of Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon into Batman’s life made him realize the importance of teamwork, let alone companionship. All of these could be your typical framework of a family-oriented movie but The LEGO Batman appears to have set these standards to make things more familiar and more accessible.

With a number of jokes and comic book references and an abundance of characters (villains and allies alike) to serve the fans, The LEGO Batman Movie goes beyond the expectation of delivering visual treats all throughout. The ride is all worth it. Should this be the direction Warner Animations Group intends to go, we are all off to see more memorable adventures with The LEGO Ninjago Movie opening this September and the sequel to The Lego Movie in 2018.

WATCH: Batman raises Robin in new trailer for ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled a new trailer for “The LEGO Batman Movie” during the film’s Comic-Con panel last Saturday, July 16, and the studio has now made it available online.

The new trailer introduces Robin, who in this version, was mistakenly adopted by Bruce Wayne in a charity auction.

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is the animated Caped Crusader’s spinoff feature from the critically acclaimed box-office hit “The LEGO Movie.”

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Will Arnett returns to voice the Gotham vigilante in the satirical spin on the classic comic book character for director Chris McKay. The screenplay is written by Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer”).

The film also stars Michael Cera as Batman’s sidekick Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth and Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham.

Opening across the Philippines on February 9, 2017, “The Lego Batman Movie” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Batman v Superman’ flies past $500-M worldwide, P200-M in PH

BURBANK, CA, March 30, 2016 – Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” continues to win at the worldwide box office. Soaring past $500 million after only five days in theaters with a total of $501.9 million and counting, the film joins a very rare group of movies that cross half a billion dollars in their first week of release. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

“We’re so proud that ‘Batman v Superman’ has become the must-see event film of the season for fans the world over,” Kwan Vandenberg stated. “These incredible numbers are building momentum for not only this movie, but for the upcoming slate of DC Super Hero films.”

The domestic box office total now stands at more than $193.3 million, and the international figure is $308.6 million.

In the Philippines, “Batman v Superman” has grossed an outstanding P201-million in only three days, the fastest period for any superhero film to reach this milestone. Past blockbusters “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” got to the P200-M mark in four days.

From director Zack Snyder comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with each other, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it has ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film was produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film can be seen in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and in 3D and 2D theaters worldwide and is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: The Dark Knight beatboxes in second trailer for ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

Warner Bros. has released a second trailer for “The LEGO Batman Movie,” the animated Caped Crusader’s spinoff feature from the critically acclaimed box-office hit “The LEGO Movie.” (The trailer may be viewed below.)

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Will Arnett returns to voice the Gotham vigilante in the satirical spin on the classic comic book character for director Chris McKay. The screenplay is written by Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer”).

The film also stars Michael Cera as Batman’s sidekick Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth and Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham.

Opening across the Philippines on February 9, 2017, “The Lego Batman Movie” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: Announcement trailer for ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

The “announcement” trailer and one-sheet art for Warner Bros. Pictures’ new animated comedy “The LEGO Batman Movie” have been released by the studio. The trailer may be viewed below.

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Will Arnett returns to voice the Gotham vigilante in the satirical spin on the classic comic book character for director Chris McKay. The screenplay is written by Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer”).

The film also stars Michael Cera as Batman’s sidekick Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth and Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham.

Opening across the Philippines on February 9, 2017, “The Lego Batman Movie” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ earns P86.65-M on 1st day in PH

MANILA, March 27, 2016 – Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” took the Philippine box office by storm on its opening day yesterday, earning P86.65-million across 598 screens and setting new box-office records, with no signs of slowing down.

Opening virtually day-and-date across the globe, director Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated follow-up to “Man of Steel” brings Batman and Superman together on the big screen for the first time in history, and is the very first feature film appearance of Wonder Woman, the third Super Hero in DC Comics’ iconic Trinity.

In the Philippines, the film has broken a number of industry records, namely:

  • Biggest Single Day Gross in cinema history, surpassing last year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” P83.2-M (Sunday Gross);
  • Biggest Opening Day All-Time Industry-Wide, ahead of “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” P72.7-M (Wed opening);
  • Biggest Saturday Gross All-Time Industry-Wide, eclipsing “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” P81.9-M;
  • Biggest WB Opening Day All-Time, beating “Man of Steel’s” P69-M (Wed – holiday opening); and
    Biggest Superhero Opening Day, surpassing “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” P72-M.

The announcement was made today by Francis Soliven, General Manager of Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines.

Soliven said, “Anticipation for `Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ has been building across the country and these incredible results are a testament to not only the enduring appeal of these global icons but the power of the epic cinematic showdown Zack Snyder and his brilliant cast and crew have delivered. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the film’s incredible debut and strong word-of-mouth and repeat business promises to propel its success well into the season.”

From director Zack Snyder comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with each other, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it has ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.

Snyder’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Larry Fong (“300,” “Watchmen”) and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (“300: Rise of an Empire”), and from his “Man of Steel” team, editor David Brenner, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, visual effects supervisor John DJ DesJardin, and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”) working in conjunction with composer Junkie XL (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film can be seen in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 3D and 2D, and is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Batman v Superman’ stars kick off promo tour in Beijing

Director Zack Snyder recently teamed up with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, bringing their new film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to China’s capital city, Beijing.

Speaking at the promotion event, Ben Affleck says it was “daunting” to play the iconic Batman in this superhero film.

“The biggest challenge going into was the sort of daunting aspect of playing a character who’s got such a fixed place in people’s minds already. You know people’s expectations. I think that was the biggest challenge. I didn’t get to create the character. I had to sort of recreate something and hope that it fit into people’s, our idea of who Batman was already and hope that they would accept my nuances on it.”

And Cavill returns to the role of Superman after pulling on the red cape in the 2013 reboot ‘Man of Steel.’ The 32-year-old actor admits, the new film brought a more physical kind of challenge for him.

“Mostly, with a lot of imagination. The idea behind Superman, for me, in preparation, doesn’t really change from movie to movie. But with this one particular, it was having to work doubly hard in the gym, because I knew I was going up against Ben, and Batman. And so with that, I just, I had to make sure that I was a fair match.”

Director Snyder says he hopes to cheer fans by gathering Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman together in one place for his movie. Beijing is the first stop of the superhero film’s global promotion tour.

Opening across the Philippines in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 3D and 2D theaters on Black Saturday, March 26, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Let the battle begin in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’

Born one year apart in separate runs of DC Comics, Batman and Superman have leapt off the page to become cultural touchstones across the globe, embraced by generations of fans through decades of social and political change. One orphaned by crime, the other by a dying planet; one shaped by his thirst for vengeance, the other by the values of his human family.

Their legends have fueled adaptations in every new medium under the sun, including landmark graphic novels and more than a dozen movies between them. But never have these two seminal Super Heroes faced off against each other on the big screen … until now, in Warner Bros. Pictures’ epic action-adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

The stage was set for their epic face-off in Snyder’s earlier foray into the DC Universe, “Man of Steel,” when Superman tears through Metropolis like a ballistic missile to defeat the alien enemy, General Zod, in an airborne battle that destroys Wayne Tower – and everyone inside it. In “Batman v Superman,” we’ll see that moment again, but this time through the eyes of Bruce Wayne as he runs into the billowing clouds of dust to search for survivors. Eighteen months hence, the scars are healing in Metropolis but not in the heart of the dark vigilante stalking the mean streets of nearby Gotham City.

This Batman has a score to settle, and both behind the mask and in the persona of Bruce Wayne, the character being brought to life in the film by Oscar winner Ben Affleck is older and far less idealistic than any we’ve seen thus far on screen. He’s facing off against a Superman who, while not as seasoned, has grown more confident in his powers and his place on this planet than the reluctant hero of “Man of Steel,” and after delivering the goods in that film, Henry Cavill is now fully owning both the role of the hero and his human identity, Clark Kent.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Opening across the Philippines in 3D, 2D, and IMAX 3D theaters on Black Saturday, March 26, 2016, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.