Straight out of DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes, the teaser trailer of director Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is now online, starring Robert Pattinson in the dual role of Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Check out the trailer below and watch “The Batman” in Philippine cinemas in 2021.
About “The Batman”
From Warner Bros. Pictures comes “The Batman,” with director Matt Reeves (the “Planet of the Apes” films) at the helm and with Robert Pattinson (“Tenet,” “The Lighthouse,” “Good Time”) starring as Gotham City’s vigilante detective, Batman, and billionaire Bruce Wayne.
Also in the star-studded ensemble as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (the “Hunger Games” films) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Black Mass”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Barry Keoghan (“Dunkirk”) as Officer Stanley Merkel; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Dumbo”) as Oswald Cobblepot.
“The Batman” was written by Matt Reeves & Peter Craig. Reeves and Dylan Clark (the “Planet of the Apes” films) are producing the film, with Simon Emanuel, Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada and Chantal Nong Vo serving as executive producers. Reeves’ behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” upcoming “Dune”); his “Planet of the Apes” production designer, James Chinlund; editors William Hoy (the “Planet of the Apes” films) and Tyler Nelson (“Rememory”); Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon (“The Jungle Book”); Oscar-nominated SFX supervisor Dominic Tuohy (“1917,” “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”); Oscar-nominated sound mixer Stuart Wilson (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“1917,” “Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”) and costume designers Glyn Dillon (the “Star Wars” franchise) and David Crossman (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); hair designer Zoe Tahir (upcoming “No Time to Die,” “Spectre”); and Oscar-nominated makeup designer Naomi Donne (“1917”).
Based on characters from DC. Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. “The Batman” is set to open in theaters October 1, 2021 in select 3D and 2D and IMAX theaters and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
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I admire MCU’s Spider-Man films for managing to impart uncle Ben’s infamous words (“With great power, comes great responsibility”) without the need of explicitly mentioning it. Homecoming stands out in the superhero genre with its scaled-down coming-of-age themes that nevertheless delivers action, humor and heart. At its center is a teenager who wants to be a superhero, yet hasn’t quite figured out how. In Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is once again wrestling with that responsibility but the stakes here are much larger than saving the neighborhood. Much of the pressure comes from filling the metal boots of the late Tony Stark/Iron Man as he bequeathed Peter a pair of techie glasses which has access to Stark Industries’ database and orbital weapons. It’s a cool legacy to inherit (not to mention the spectacular spidey suits later), but can Peter have at least a week off to enjoy his high school field trip to Europe – a perfect setting to profess his romantic feelings for his classmate MJ (Zendaya)? Well, you know the drill: With great power…
Against his wishes, Peter is pulled out by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to team up with Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) – a superhero from an alternate earth who emits green gas and wears a fishbowl on his head. The mystery guy quickly buddies up with a confused Peter (who’s in need of a father figure since Tony’s death) and empathizes with his struggle to moonlight a superhero job. Gyllenhaal fits wonderfully into this environment as he carries the charisma and gravitas needed to act as a mentor to a young Holland. But of course, anyone who’s familiar with his character in the comics should know early on that there’s more to him that meets the eye.
Together, they try to stop various destructive “Elementals” across the globe. This mission is clearly an Avengers-level type of threat but when Peter asks Fury as to the whereabouts of the other Avengers, he simply says that they’re all either busy or unavailable. Hmmm… how convenient. Thankfully, a must-watch post-credit scene alludes to a bigger inter-dimensional threat that supports this plot convenience and fixes a huge character plothole found in the narrative. Hence, I’m letting this one off the hook.
Set several months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, this installment also has the task of addressing the ramifications of Dr. Hulk’s snap that restored half of humanity wiped by Thanos. The five-year absence, referred to as “the blip,” is amusingly explained through the perspective of high school milieu. Those who are spared by Thanos continue to grow five years older, while those who are previously “snapped” went back with their original ages. Again, for convenience sake, the significant class members of Peter are still of the same age.
With all the globe-trotting and action extravaganza involved, reprising director Jon Watts finds a way to maintain a light tone that keeps the sequel intact with its predecessor, yet at the same time, fit it with the ever-expanding world of MCU. The script, penned by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, remains to be a character-based, high-school comedy just so happened to be set in multiple geographical locations – New York, Venice, Berlin, Prague, London and the Netherlands. One of the film’s twists traces back to Captain America: Civil War and another one back to Captain Marvel. It’s a testament how well-written and well-thought of this film is. I have to emphasize that with Kevin Feige and the rest of Marvel’s vision, the future of MCU is in safe hands.
More than the standard saving-the-world scenario, the coming-of-age sensibilities once again makes Far From Home a breezy and charming addition to the franchise. There are plenty of relevant adolescent themes like young adult anxiety and insecurity, competing love interests, class bullies, Gen Z’s indulgence to social media and the general immaturity of youth. Through it all, the story not only propels Peter’s individual story but also manages to give the supporting players their moments to shine. Nerdy Ned (Jacob Batalon) steals scenes through his unlikely romance with the prim Betty (Angourie Rice). Tony’s right hand man, Happy (Jon Favreau) strikes a spark with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). While we get a more layered character in MJ this time, with Zendaya keeping the mutual attraction to her onscreen partner under a sarcastic and awkward facade. On the other hand, Holland continues to thrive on the iconic role for this generation. His edge over Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s portrayals is that he exudes with a sincere, boyish enthusiasm that appeals to a wide audience.
Spider-Man: Far From Home pays homage to Tony Stark’s legacy as viewers are constantly reminded of the fallen industrialist’s presence. Sometimes it’s done literally through his mural images painted on buildings or his life story featured as a documentary in an airline, almost like he’s a religious figure. Other times, it feels symbolical through the growing paternal bond between Happy and Peter. The big question that keeps getting thrown around here is who should be the next de-facto leader of The Avengers. I stand by my opinion that Peter is way too young and inexperienced to play a leadership role. (I’m personally rooting for you, Dr. Strange). However, as the front face for the next phases in MCU, I think we might just found a worthy successor.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Directed by Jon Watts, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii and Jake Gyllenhaal. 129 minutes. PG-13.
Brightburn’s apparent lack of empathy for its lead character turns its intriguing concept into a gimmick.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s an overpowered, bloodthirsty alien kid!
Do note that Brightburn does not belong in the DCEU universe nor is this about the alternate evil version of Superman in the comics. The character names are different but I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Bros. claims to have a cut in the profits due to the glaring plot similarities. In Brightburn, a childless couple, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman), finds a baby inside a space capsule that crashed outside their farm. They raise the child as their own and calls him Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) who develops a familiar array of superpowers. But instead of sharing mankind’s positive values, he displays an alarming lack of morality. This inversion of the beloved Superman tale is a killer premise to begin with, it’s a subversive take on the superhero horror genre. Only if the film sustained its imagination throughout.
The thing is, Brightburn lacks empathy for its main character to fully work. The film sets up with a montage of home videos of Brandon growing up in a loving home, and on the eve of his twelfth birthday, he begins hearing sinister voices urging him to “take the world.” With the film not fleshing out his actual growth as a child, we have to assume that Brandon is a perfectly normal kid who turns into a burgeoning psychopath overnight. Subtly reinforced by her mom who keeps saying that he’s “special,” he uses this as a defense mechanism for his superiority complex and penchant for violence. There’s a hint of internal turmoil in his behavior but it’s not enough to sympathize with his drastic descent to wickedness.
Brightburn wastes no time in taking a full turn to horror territory as Brandon tries out his powers against anyone who rubs him the wrong way. Horror fans who enjoy diabolical stuff should be delighted to witness a kid delivering audaciously grisly kills, including one memorable car crash scene. While gore can be a vital instrument for terror, the film uses it to pad a thin narrative, eventually bypassing significant themes that could have been conveyed along the way. As a result, the story becomes predictable while here I am wondering why Banks’ character is stuck on the denial stage for the most part. She’s supposed to have motherly instinct yet she’s too oblivious to see that the thing she loves becomes a thing to fear.
There isn’t much hope to be mined here. Brightburn is a movie that shows no signs of redemption in the same way that Brandon shows no signs of remorse. Don’t get me wrong, the recent Pet Sematary likewise commits to its nihilistic themes yet that one properly fleshes out its characters’ motivations so the sympathy element is never lost. Another movie that features a disturbed kid is Carrie which understands its character’s madness as a byproduct of domestic violence and bullying. In Brightburn, however, everything happens in a flick of a switch. It’s too preoccupied to scare the heck out of you by playing worst case scenarios and running wild with it. Actually, if we’re talking about evil superhero origins, 2012’s Chronicle did it better.
What lifts Brightburn above the ground is its strong and committed performances from the three principal cast plus David Yarovesky’s compelling direction as he deftly mixes horror tropes with superhero iconography. In one scene shown in the trailer, a driver turns his malfunctioning headlights on and off only to reveal something scary – the sight of a sinister Brandon levitating above ground in his DIY superhero attire. There are several unsettling imagery like this that will make you feel glad that superheroes don’t exist.
The resulting tension and terror however is not enough to overshadow the story’s apparent lack of character development. As an genre mashup, Brightburn is a bold and fascinating experiment that barely rises above the gimmick. The lead quickly turns into an adolescent version of Michael Myers (with superpowers) who’s out for a killing spree.
There’s a depressing conclusion here on the two opposing forces of nature vs. nurture: Parental bond stands weak against inherent monstrosity and despite the best efforts of decent parents, psychopathic children are simply incurable. It’s not exactly the type of insight that you would like to take home with you, especially if its a byproduct of a weak script.
2.5 out of 5 stars
Directed by David Yarovesky, written by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, ‘Brightburn’ stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner. 90 minutes. R-13.
On paper, there’s a lot to like in Neil Marshall’s reboot of ‘Hellboy’ but its haphazard execution makes it feel numbing and exhausting.
Neil Marshall’s Hellboy actually does a good job in tempering your expectations as its problems become apparent right from the very start. It kicks off with a clunky prologue of King Arthur, Merlin & Co. thwarting the plans of Nimue a.k.a. the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) by hacking her body into bits and sealing them into separate enchanted caskets. This imaginative tie up to the known Arthurian legend is what makes Mike Mignola’s comics captivating. Granted that the hasty narration is an obvious attempt to keep the runtime down, you can easily forgive it. As it turns out, however, this relentless dry exposition will be your constant companion throughout. Hellboy drags its titular hero from one dangerous situation to next. It even bothers to explain the backstory of its supporting players, yet it fails to take pause for introspective character development. In effect, it does feel like reading a thick issue of comics. The film shoves so many storylines more so than it can chew.
What you need to know is that Hellboy (David Harbour) is a red incubus who ends up working with the good guys – the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). He’s humanity’s only hope yet he’s also the prophesized bringer of apocalypse. Hence, he keeps snapping his horns to prevent summoning hellish fiends of all sorts. A seer named Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo) narrates his origin via flashback, which prominently features a vigilante in goggle shades (Thomas Haden Church) for no adequate reason. Apart from that, the film also narrates the origin of Hellboy’s psychic friend Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), as well as scar-faced military soldier Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim). Elsewhere, a hog-like fairy Gruagach (Stephen Graham/Douglas Tait) is tasked to gather Nimue’s body parts so that a very hideous looking Baba Yaga (Emma Tate/Troy James) can restore her and officially pursue her plans of world domination.
For a screenplay that’s written by one person (Andrew Cosby), Hellboy surprisingly feels dizzying and incoherent. Aside from its overstuffed plot, another sore eye here is its haphazard editing that fails to stitch things organically. With its loose connections, the film gives an impression of looking like a series of violent clips strung together by bland electric guitar riffs. Soon enough, it abandons character development to showcase everyone else has paid to see… fights with monsters. At one point, Hellboy mutilates giants with buckets of blood and guts pouring out from weightless CGI characters. You can easily remove this segment to achieve better pacing but hey, teenage boys must be pleased at this point so let’s keep it eh?
Harbour (of Stranger Things) is more than worthy to take up the horns as he makes the most of whatever he’s given. Being practically buried in layers of makeup, however, renders his face expressionless at some moments. As for the rest of the cast, they’re quite unremarkable. Superpowered sidekicks played by Lane and Kim are two-dimensional characters at best, and Jovovich, despite her striking screen presence, has not much to do but scowl at the camera and wait for a disappointing showdown at the end.
If there’s an edge that this version has over Guillermo del Toro’s is that it fully embraces the hard R horror elements of its source material. But to give justice to gratuitous violence is an entire different thing. The audiovisual chaos is loud and abrasive – beheadings, dismemberments, skewering, etc. I am willing to embrace all the hell-raising involved, had only the film actually earned it. Unlike Deadpool films that plays violence for a comic effect, Hellboy ultimately winds up closer to lesser films like Underworld and Resident Evil. What’s initially stirring gradually turns to numbing and exhausting.
Del Toro’s Hellboy films remain to be the superior version. It has grace and style, and most important of all, it has craftsman care for its story and its characters. Sure, Marshall’s reboot deserves to be judged on its own merits and in that regard, this one falls short in having an affecting emotional lynchpin, which could have been the relationship of Hellboy and his adoptive father (Ian McShane). It also could’ve mined more internal conflict – the Blood Queen wants to awaken Hellboy’s hidden potential as the demon king, yet not much energy is spent to attempt at such nuance.
There are some decent parts in Hellboy that can be salvaged. Taken as a whole, however, it just feels like an utter chore to sit through. Marked by unnecessary set-ups, incessant expositions and incoherent plot, the film sacrifices restraint for R-rated creativity and ambition. Most viewers certainly don’t come solely for uninspired gore.
2.5 out of 5 stars
Directed by Neil Marshall and written by Andrew Cosby, ‘Hellboy’ stars David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Thomas Haden Church, Penelope Mitchell, Sophie Okonedo, Brian Gleeson, Alistair Petrie, Laila Morse, Stephen Graham and Douglas Tait. Based on Mike Mignola’s “Hellboy.” 121 minutes. R-16.
Captain Marvelcreatively spins an origin story by reversing the wheels of the classic MCU Phase 1 formula.
Fresh off from the monumental showdown of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel carries a ton of expectations for fronting the ‘strongest superhero’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not to mention that this stand-alone/Phase 1-ish material competes with several experimental and crossover films in Phase 3, the titular heroine is at a disadvantage for having zero narrative to begin with unlike Spider-Man and Black Panther who have prior introductions in Captain America: Civil War.
And if we should extend the comparison by a universe, when it comes to female representation in this increasingly sensitive era, DC’s Wonder Woman is the first one to blast through that barrier in 2017. Still, a multitude of female demographic in particular are looking forward to this film with the hopes of seeing a part of themselves represented on screen. The result is hardly a game-changer but it sure does have several things going on that other superhero films simply don’t have.
Since most audiences have no idea about Captain Marvel, it is to the film’s benefit that co-writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck structure the screenplay like a mystery. The reverse origin story kicks off with Vers (Brie Larson) already possessing an array of powers under her belt, and that includes superhuman strength and photon blasts (with flight ability to follow). There’s a lot of backstory teased in her fragmented visions but the film cuts right to the action of an intergalactic war. Vers is a member of an elite Kree military unit called ‘Starforce’ whose purpose is to hunt down Skrulls who have been invading peaceful planets in the galaxy.
Her misadventure sends her crashing to planet C-53 (a.k.a. Earth) where she crosses paths with a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, played by a magically and seamlessly de-aged Samuel Jackson. From then, the film then turns into an entertaining buddy-cop romp as they try to uncover the truth of Vers’ human origin. Oh, and the film is set in the 1990’s so Gen-Xers and early millennials can expect a healthy dose nostalgia – payphones, pagers, blockbuster video rentals, CD-ROM, Alta Vista search engine, etc. – all of which are intended to evoke warm and fuzzy feelings..
While Wonder Woman is evident in its feminist themes (given that Diana Prince lives in an island solely inhabited by women), Captain Marvel has a more complex undertone to its proceedings. At one point, Vers/Carol Danvers breaks free from the conventions that bind her. In particular, her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) constantly reminds her not to let emotions get the best of her. It’s a subtle commentary on the sexist notion that women are too emotional to handle tough jobs. She then comes to a realization that this perceived vulnerability can also be the source of her greatest strength.
More than anything, the film is about a superhero’s existential crisis. As the plot progresses, loyalties get reconfigured and Vers starts to question her identity and core. Is she just a mere pawn fighting for a cause she never truly understood? A soul trapped between two worlds, neither of which she feels truly belonged? Her former best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) helps her to keep in touch with her humanity and given the film’s structure, most of her backstory is filled through quick flashbacks, expositions and testimonials. The storytelling style has its share of weaknesses as this is not the best way to mine emotional depth. Hence, when it comes to an empowering and moving montage of a beaten-down Carol standing up through various stages of her life, it never reaches its maximum desired catharsis.
As for the former indie darling, Brie Larson radiates with spunk and girl power. There’s an air of chill arrogance and stubbornness in her portrayal similar to Tony Stark and Stephen Strange, but the former deserves worthy of her attitude because of her unimaginable extent of powers. One can argue that there’s something off with the Oscar-winning actress’ performance and maybe that has something to do with the fact that she spends most of the film running without a solid backstory. Some may lazily dismiss her portrayal as bland but I would have to firmly disagree with that, Larson takes full ownership with what she’s given. And with some chunks of her history still missing, we can agree that the best parts of her character’s journey are still ahead of her.
Admittedly, I came out of this filmfeeling invested with the powers that Carol has to offer for Avengers: Endgame more so than being emotionally connected with the character herself. Still, that does not make this film a weak entry to the franchise for there are plenty of things to like here. It’s amusing to see Jackson in a different light and his scenes with the orange cat Goose are one of the scene-stealers. Even Mendelsohn’s Talos lends an unexpected emotional weight to the story, making the character memorable in MCU’s current pantheon of villains.
Overall, Captain Marvel succeeds in accomplishing the goals it has set upon. It offers more female representation in the superhero genre and it introduces a kickass heroine’s origin story that nicely retrofits to a larger machine. Hence, this film has enough substance to make it an essential viewing before Endgame.
At one point, Carol says an empowering line, “I have nothing to prove to you.” While the film proves a lot of things, this is a universal shared sentiment that we can all keep in mind against those who try to put us down.
4 out of 5 stars
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a screenplay written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, ‘Captain Marvel‘ stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Algenis Pérez Soto, Rune Temte, Azari Akbar and Jude Law. Based on Marvel comics character ‘Carol Danvers’ by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan. Run time: 124 mins.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Aquaman” has hit new heights at the international box office, with tickets pushing the DC Super Hero past the $800 million mark. The announcement was made February 19 by the head of Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution, Tom Molter.
The impressive box office run overseas has propelled the film to become the highest grossing DC title ever both globally and internationally, as well as in 36 territories, including the Philippines (at Php 582-million), China, Spain, Brazil and Taiwan.
“Aquaman” is already the second-highest grossing Warner Bros. title internationally, behind only “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” and also stands as Warner Bros.’ biggest earner in 24 international markets, including the Philippines, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Taiwan and the UAE. The benchmark international number also drives the global box office figure to $1.13 billion and counting.
Industry-wide in the Philippines, “Aquaman” ranks as the eighth overall biggest grossing film ever in PH history, including both local and foreign titles.
Molter stated, “‘Aquaman’ began its journey in China and has made its way around the globe through every major international market, most recently landing in Japan in early February to great success. Its remarkable box office throughout the world is a measure of the film’s ability to entertain across cultures and in every language, and we congratulate James Wan, Jason Momoa and the entire team for creating such a hugely entertaining cinematic experience for audiences everywhere.”
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes “Aquaman,” the origin story of half-surface dweller, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry that takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king. The action-packed adventure spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, and stars Jason Momoa in the title role.
The film also stars Amber Heard as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson as Orm, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the revenge-seeking Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna. Also featured are Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, an Atlantean Commando, and Temuera Morrison as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.
Wan directed from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger for DC. The film was produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Peter Safran Production, a James Wan Film, “Aquaman.” The film has been released in 3D and 2D and IMAX, and is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.