“The Batman” is a sure bet for Warner Bros. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good movie, but with their development department scrambling on one single vision for their DCEU, rebooting Batman yet again, just makes sense. It rebuilds confidence (borrowed time) in their brand, and it guarantees moolah in the box office. It’s cynical but now we have three cinematic jokers, two live action Batmans, and a new movie fans are going to spend the next year wondering where it fits in to the timeline.
It’s disappointing that this is where we’ve arrived with the DC Warner animated movies. We went from stellar to “Its fine, I guess.” That’s exactly what “Apokolips War,” the sequel (?) to “Justice League Dark” is. It’s fine. It’s okay. It has all the ingredients to be a damn good epic, but instead chooses gruesome pointless violence, over heart and substance. I’m not one to complain about violence in more mature aimed films, but “Apokolips War” often watches like it’s compensating for the lack of any real substance or entertainment value by splashing the screen with ridiculous violence and gore.
As a bit of warning, I never played the “Injustice” video game series, nor have I ever read any of the comic books or spin offs. I’m vaguely aware of what the general premise is of “Injustice,” but that’s as far as it goes for me. Considering I was excited about it being adapted in to an animated movie, when the dust settled, I’m very disappointed by what we’re ultimately offered. What is it about DC and Warner unwilling to make a movie that’s longer than eighty minutes? It can’t possibly be for the child audience, as “Injustice” is as gory an Elseworlds tale that I’ve ever seen.
It makes perfect sense for Warner to commemorate “Batman Year One” from 2011. While it’s not a particularly great movie, we are on the cusp of the release of yet another Batman movie that explores Batman in his early years as the Dark Knight. The re-release of “Batman Year One” is good business especially since it’s about ten years since it was released in 2011 to mixed fanfare. Ten years later, it’s still not a great movie, but it should help psych audiences up for “The Batman.”
After the wet fart that was David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” there was a lot riding on James Gunn’s soft reboot titled “The Suicide Squad.” While there was a lot of pressure on Gunn to deliver, it was no surprise that he did, two fold. This is a man who managed to take a fourth tier superhero team from Marvel Comics and turn them in to beloved superheroes everyone recognizes. With “The Suicide Squad” Gunn gets the ball rolling successfully with a wonderful soft reboot. Now it’s up to DC and Warner to keep the momentum.
Just in time for the holidays, Warner has unleashed a trio of Superman related sets for collecting by Comic book fans and Superman buffs like yours truly. As someone that very much is a hardcore fan of the Man of Steel, these three sets deliver depending on what vision of Superman you ultimately prefer. No matter, Superman is still a fascinating and thrilling superhero, and works well with the television format. Finally after many years of being just available on DVD, Superman The Animated Series: The Complete Series is finally available on Blu-Ray, remastered and complete for the fans. While it isn’t given the deluxe royal treatment that “Batman: The Animated Series” was afforded, it’s a decent boxed set with every nook and cranny of “Superman: The Animated Series” right down to the “Batman/Superman” animated movie.
What’s old is new again, and now with Warner seemingly acknowledging the Tim Burton Batman 1989 movies as their own universe in “Elseworlds” on TV, DC dives head first in to expanding the original movie universes of their respective character properties. After “Batman ’89,” DC Comics follows up with “Superman ’78.” It’s an expansion and exploration of the beloved movie universe from Richard Donner’s Superman, and it wholeheartedly embraces everything about the movies we loved right down to the silly dialogue.
Director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” movie series has been very good so far. What’s kept the series from being great is the films’ lack of really interesting super villains that can make Diana’s heroic quest difficult. “Wonder Woman 1984” is a very good movie that has its sights set on paying tribute to the iconic heroine, and in those respects it’s a very good follow up to the original film—save for some glaring flaws that keep it from being a great follow up.